I thought I wasn’t going to blog about Christmas again however I have been doing the Bible Society’s Advent Challenge and today’s challenge is to read the Christmas Story and share with others what it means to me. Having been to a Carol Service last night I had already been reflecting on the way home how amazing the story is when you see it from a Christian perspective and how this year my whole view is changing, Christmas now a personal celebration between me and God, a thank you to him for his generous and undeserved gift.
So thinking more, this is what I have written in response to what Christmas means to me:
OK so the person who stands out for me in the Christmas story is Mary, like who would want to be in her situation to have the hope of nations resting on your obedience, to make sense out of a message that must have terrified her, all her hopes and dreams on hold because an Angel told her she was to have a baby, really, how difficult would that be to tell your husband to be, we’re having a baby and he’s going to be called Jesus, you get the thrust, Mary had blind faith and trust, she heard what was said, OK with some dread in her heart no doubt, but then she felt the love of God, and that shows me that no matter what God asks me to do, I must be true to him, to trust and obey, to go the way he asks me to so that I can play my part in his story, I too can give him the glory so I strive to be more like Mary, to have a mighty faith, to trust beyond question, to obey God and follow his direction.
But other things make me sit up and take notice, this birth was because God was devoted to us, this birth was something to make a fuss about, when else have Angels declared Glory to God in the highest on a hillside to shepherds, this was unprecedented, God’s message declared in magnificence yet Jesus was not born to extravagance, not born in a palace or castle, not born in dazzling surroundings with all the trappings of princes and kings, Jesus was born in a lowly place, a space for animals to shelter yet what could be sweeter for the human race than a leader born to show his grace, a leader sent from God to spread his word, to live among us, so as the shepherds heard the Angel’s glad tidings so I find myself listening for God’s message to me and rejoicing that through his grace I am free.
And then I think about the wise men travelling for months in search of the one, searching for a Saviour and not resting until they found the baby in a manger and then I reflect on how long I was searching for a Saviour, how he never gave up on me, his gift of life meant for me was still available and OK I didn’t find him in a stable but I found him ready and waiting I found a loving God who remains with me on my journey of discovery and that tells me so much more than I could imagine, I have only seen a fraction of what God can do for me, and now I take time to seek him out to see what God wants to do through me, to serve him in totality.
So the Christmas story teaches me that nothing is impossible with God, nothing is beyond the realms of possibility and so my life can be whatever he wants it to be, I am open to receive from him but there is one more thing that I have learnt, we weren’t left on our own, God gives us help and tools to grow and as Mary went to Elizabeth so we need to mentor each other in our walk with the Lord, so we need to share in his word, to pray together, support each other so I praise God for the number of people he’s put in my path who provide love, guidance, teaching and advice, I praise God that he paid the price for my sins, praise God that he has all things in his control and praise God this Christmas that through his great mercy I am made whole.