O Little Town of Mayhem

A 5 week series on finding contentment in Christ during the Christmas season

It seems Bethlehem was busy the night Jesus was born. Many people were traveling for the census, so Joseph and Mary found no traditional lodging. We can identify with that element of the Christmas story. This season often feels overwhelming, busy, and too full.

But in the midst of the mayhem on that starry night long ago, there was also a stillness.

“The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world…yet the world did not know Him” –John 1:9-10

The light of the world came to the little town of Bethlehem!


When the light came in the world, His fanfare only stirred up Shepherds. His welcome party was made up of, at most, animals in a stable. The first throne He reclined in on earth was a manger. His robes were swaddling clothes.

Though for Mary the circumstances may have been a little chaotic, the arrival of the Savior into the world was actually rather quiet for being the birth of the Messiah. Silent, as the hymn goes. Still.

Ironically, while His coming into the world was hushed and humble, we don’t usually hold the least bit still as we celebrate that night.

Instead of an awed and quiet welcome, Christmas tends to usher in Christ in a messy blur.

If we’re honest, quiet contentment during Christmas seems like a lost cause. There’s too much “making the best” and “doing the most” and “picking up” to be satisfied. Life gets loud and raucous- but as much with cheer as with excess and expectations to meet.

Our lives seem to sing:

 Parody of O Little Town of Bethlehem for A season of Mayhem- from the Finding Contentment Series

Our focus easily shifts from 'Glory to God in the highest' to 'a little higher! A little brighter! A little more!' Click To Tweet

One might think, looking in on Christmas celebrations, that every year we’re trying to make Jesus’ arrival a little more exciting, a little louder, a little more….glamorous.

But the Light of the world, who we’re celebrating, doesn’t need to be any brighter. God doesn’t need to be a little more. His glory doesn’t need to be displayed higher. In fact He can’t be- God is wholly glorious.

 Glory is a proclamation of intrinsic value. It ascribes sufficiency, divinity, and splendor.

Contentment is a state characterized by inward sufficiency because of Christ and His glory.

As we celebrate Christ’s coming, we don’t need to be any busier or more festive to ascribe value to the sufficiency and wonder of Christ.

We don’t need to lie to ourselves about our mess or put on pretense to glory in contentment in Christ during Christmas.

The Light of the World is coming, and He has come.

We know Him. We’re called to glorify Him and invited to be quietly content in Him…even in December.

As we unroll the wrapping paper, lay another guest’s coat on the bed, and spread out the feasts and treats of this season…

We can throw down our mess as a doormat and welcome Christ to shine gloriously in our hectic hearts and world.

This celebration season, I’m seeking contentment in Christ. Will you join me for the rest of this 5 part series?

Part 1: It’s The (Maybe) Wonderful Time of the Year

This post may also be shared on: #MomentsofHope, #DreamTogetherLinkup, #TestimonyTuesday, #RaRaLinkup,  #TeaAndWord, #TellHisStory#RechargeWednesday#Thought-Provoking Thursday, #Heart Encouragement, #LiveFreeThursday, #DanceWithJesus#LLMLinkupFaith-Filled FridaySitting Among FriendsFresh Market Friday, and #SoulSurvivalLinkup.


10 Replies to “O Little Town of Mayhem

  1. I love this! “We can throw down our mess as a doormat and welcome Christ.” I often feel overwhelmed by the busyness of the season. It’s good to remember that I can glory in contentment in Christ no matter what. Thank you!

  2. Bethany, our hearts are in the same place. It’s so easy to get so caught up in the busy-ness of Christmas, that we miss the present of Jesus’s peaceful presence. I love that we can welcome Jesus no matter how our homes—and even our hearts—look. He is with us. He is truly glorious. May we find moments of stillness with Him in this season.

    1. Isn’t it wonderful?! I love your confirmation of this, too. Such a joy that He is with us always and in all things- even the mess and the busy!

  3. Yes, we all need a little more quiet and stillness to really think about and be in awe of our Savior and how He gave up so much because He loved us. We need to rest and let His light shine over us and be filled with His love and mercy.

    Blessings to you! I’m your neighbor at #HeartEncouragement!

  4. Thanks a whole lot. This is a very needful reminder. The spin of activities and trying to measure up can get so overwhelming. If we would aspire to having some quality time with the Lord, not just making the season the biggest and costliest celebration, that would serve us much better. God bless you! (Coming over from Recharge Wednesday with Patricia Holbrook)

  5. I love your spoof on “O Little Town of Bethlehem”!
    I wonder, in all the craziness of past Christmases, have I truly been trying to bring more glory to God, or have I been crossing over some obscure line and actually wanting to make a good impression on people to make myself look better, either to God or to people. It’s so easy for us to fool ourselves into thinking that we’re doing good even while we have wrong motives. I have some rethinking to do this year.

    1. Thank you! The parodies were fun to write, and convicting for me also. I know my celebrations have also often been about fooling myself and pleasing others. So glad to be rethinking! Asking the Lord to purify my motives in worshipping Him, too!

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