Christmas Barriers

December 21, 2014
by Fiona Watts

Hebrews 2:12 – I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters; in the assembly I will sing your praises. (NIV 2011)

Around the time when I got my driver's license, my parents had an opportunity to buy a second car. A bright orange 1973 Volkswagen Beetle, close in age to me, joined the station wagon in our driveway. The "bug" was like a small tank, so solid — a great car!

Growing up in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, we very seldom experienced a white Christmas. Usually, it was raining and relatively mild. One year, however, we woke up on Christmas Day to a blanket of snow. Everything was quiet, and the roads were deserted.

We always attended the Christmas Day service at our church, which was a much smaller service than the one we went to on Christmas Eve. It was always magical to worship in a church filled to the rafters on Christmas Eve, but it was equally wonderful to worship as a smaller group on Christmas Day. On both occasions, the church rang with the voices of the people singing praises to God to welcome the baby Jesus, Who came to dwell among us "fully human in every way" (Hebrews 2:17 NIV 2011).

On that snowy Christmas Day, my sisters and I wondered if we would make it to the Christmas Day service. However, snow was not going to deter us. After all, we had spent our first Christmas in Canada in frigid Winnipeg, Manitoba. My dad decided that the bug was a better bet for driving in the snow, so the five of us piled in.

We arrived at the church and unloaded, much like clowns at a circus who keep appearing out of a car that surely must be too small to have room for yet another passenger. We had made it, and we were able to celebrate, with our brothers and sisters in Christ, that God sent His Son to live among people like us.

There are times in our lives when barriers make it hard to declare the name of Jesus and sing praises with others. Sometimes, weather gets in our way, but often, it is distractions that are barriers. Although Christmastime can be filled with wonderful opportunities to gather with family and friends for festive cheer, yet through all the hustle and bustle, we can easily forget that our primary focus should be on giving thanks to God for the precious gift of His Son. What barriers do you need to break down this season so that you can be filled with joyful praise to God?

Prayer: Gracious God, thank You for sending Your Son Jesus to live among us. Fill our Christmastime with praise and thanksgiving. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Fiona Watts <fiona.e.watts@gmail.com>
North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks Fiona for a good word.


    How very true, Fiona. Excellent message.
    Oh – I too owned a “bug” and absolutely loved it.
    Be blessed.
    Happy Christmas.


    Thanks for your lovely Christmas message, Fiona. I could visualize the rare snowy scene in North Vancouver, for I grew up there. Your rear-engined Volkswagen would be just the ticket to negotiate North Van’s many hills. God bless you and your family and may the joy of the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ be with you all throughout all the year to come.


    Thank you Fiona, for the reminder and the memories. I owned a cream coloured Beetle in the 60’s, in Northeastern BC. Always carried old rugs in my car to put under the tires when spinning on ice or stuck in snow. Works like a charm. How God is our support when we might be “spinning around” in the same place. Perhaps I shall get back to writing in the New Year.
    May you and your loved ones have a wonderful Christmas.


    Good Morning, Fiona! Thank you for sharing this lovely devotional. One could picture the VW bug, and the family packed inside to head for church. Just as the snow did not deter your family heading for service that morning, we too should not let apparent obstacles from preventing us to be filled with the joy of Christmas as we celebrate the birth of Jesus! Thank you for the reminder!!
    Do continue to write.
    God bless & may you and yours have a very Merry Christmas!


    Hello Ms. Fiona,
    Are you the same Fiona Watts who wrote the wonderful article “Christmas Barriers,” about celebrating the season despite the snow and the frigid weather? Even though I’m a Muslim, I loved Jesus more than ever before. May the holiday season of this year and afterwards always be full of joy, peace, happiness, and gratitude for what you have.
    (Saudi Arabia)


    What a wonderful devotional.
    Your words painted a picture of the Beatle full of loyal believers stepping out. One by one, helping the other.
    Indeed it is a wonderful experience to have a church will all members who believe with such intensity that they will overcome, crossing any barrier…placed there by satan.
    My CHRISTMAS prayer for you:
    FATHER, My wish & prayer for you, Father, I come to you in JESUS name asking that you rain down blessings of health, happiness & prosperity all his days from present until receiving the last earthly blessing when you take by the hand, finona, to the eternal home to live with you, the saints, and all those that YOU have done the aforementioned to.
    AMEN & AMEN.
    (Texas, USA)

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