Last week I passed a sign that said,
"Christ is the reason for the season.
Don't X-Mas Him out!"
We all need to remember, that no matter what is going on in our lives, no matter how much we have, or don't have, and despite our circumstances, God gave us the greatest gift of all in His Son Jesus Christ.
Each year we decorate the house, including a beautiful conifer tree.
We buy gifts for our loved ones, and give to those less fortunate.
We bake, cook, and spend lots of time with family.
These are all amazing blessings!
I do have to wonder though, if we did not have all of these amazing blessings, if I would feel the same about Christmas.
I certainly hope I would!!
I think of Mary and Joseph. Ousted from their homeland - by an angel with a message.
Mary, 8+ months pregnant, riding on a DONKEY across the desert.
The night she was going into labor, Joseph checked her in...not to a comfortable, sterile hospital room, but into a STABLE with the animals!
I cannot imagine her love for God, that she would not question if this was really how she was to serve Him. I often struggle with His direction...especially when it pushes me in the opposite direction of my own plans.
Can you envision what this world would be like if Mary had said, "No. I don't think I want to have a baby, without a husband, and in a stable. Thanks anyway. I would really like to fall in love, get pregnant the old-fashioned way, and make babies with my own HUMAN husband. I would really like to have my baby in a tent, like everyone else, with a midwife and other women from the community to support me. I just want a "normal" baby, birth, and life."
When my first baby was born, she turned breach, on the evening of her due date!
The doctors attempted a version, but she would not turn. So, despite my own best-laid, and prayed-over, plans, I was stuck having a c-section.
I prayed, and cried, and prayed, and cried even more! This was NOT the way I wanted to have my first experience as a mother! WAAHHHHH!! Then I remembered Mary!
Somehow our society has made it not only acceptable, but expected, to be selfish and "know what we want" and to strive to achieve our own goals.
Help us to be more like Mary, and to follow your requests, unselfishly.
"He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."