I have been thinking a lot this year about how our society pushes aside the true meaning of Christmas. We are so busy with buying presents, going to events, baking cookies and all the other hustle and bustle of the holiday, that we miss why we even celebrate Christmas. It is the day that our savior was born. The day that changed our world. Yet, to take five minutes to read the Bible, pray, or spend time with God is lost. I wanted to take this time to really go over the Christmas story in a new way. A way that will help our society to understand what really happened and how we should be grateful.
Mary was young, when an angel (Gabriel) came to tell her that she would be having a baby and that it would be God’s baby. “In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored women! The Lord is with you.” Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” Mary asked the angel, “but how can this happen? I am a virgin.” The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People use to say she was barren, but she’s now in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.” Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.”( Luke 1: 26-38).
Today if you told anyone that you were going to have God’s baby, you would probably be locked up or called crazy. Even more than that Mary’s response is amazing, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” (Luke 1: 38). I know that when God asked me to quit my job and homeschool, it took me a year to really listen. I wanted to be in control of my life. That is what our society teaches us. To be strong, take care of yourself and don’t let anyone, or anything take control of your life. I learned that I should have listened to God sooner. That whole year that I did not listen to God, was a tough year. I felt lost, sad and mad at myself for not listening.
Mary’s story doesn’t end here. She now had to explain to he,r soon to be husband, that she was pregnant, and they had never been intimate with each other. “This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she become pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph, her fiance, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.” (Matthew 1:18-19). Back then your marriages were arranged for you. Unlike today. If you called off an engagement today, there usually isn’t too much flack for it. But back then, Mary’s life would have been over. She would have been shunned by her family and the people in her village. All for letting God take control and make her become pregnant. Can you imagine trying to explain that to your friends? I couldn’t
In a Godly fashion, God sets everything straight. “As he considered this (Joseph), an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet: “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us'”. When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife. But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus.” (Matthew 1: 20-25).
You see, when Mary gave up control of her life and let God have control, she didn’t lose out. Her world didn’t fall apart. She became a part of an adventure that no one could foresee. She became a mother to our Savior. Imagine that. Your life changing for the good, because you gave up control and gave it to God. It takes time for things to work out, but God has an amazing plan for you. Just wait. You will see.
“Dear Lord, help us to have faith when we can not see. Help us to jump in and give you the control of our lives and trust in you when it all seems lost. Help us to have the strength and patience to see your plan through. May we always turn to you and know that you are in control and that it will all be ok.”
God bless you and your family this Christmas,