Each year our church has a Christmas Eve service. However, two years ago, Christmas Eve fell on a Sunday. Since we had our Sunday morning services, they opted not to have an evening service and allow the staff to spend time with their families. Our family felt a bit of a void, but we decided to make the best of it. We went to the movie that night to see The Nativity.
I realize it was Hollywood’s idea of Christmas, but it did give me some food for thought. I found myself thinking about what it was like to be Mary. How did she feel being chosen? She was like other young girls in her village. She had friends and family she loved. As she embraced what God had for her, the world as she knew it changed. People talked. Opinions changed. Some people might not believe her. She had to go to Joseph and tell him “God told me…” [Luke 1:26-38] and hope he would believe her.
Mary didn’t get to choose her future. She had given her life to God and was willing to embrace whatever that meant. Because of her Devotion, she was given the highest honor any woman would ever hold. She was chosen to be the mother of Jesus, her Savior.
I wondered, would I be willing to embrace whatever the Lord called me to do…even if it makes me appear different to the world? Even if I don’t have a clue where it will take me? Will I be able to say with the confidence of Mary, “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” [Luke 1:38] How would you answer the Lord if He came to you today with a task that seemed too impossible to believe? Would you say, “Thanks, but no thanks” or would you embrace it? Would you receive all of Jesus and in return give Him all of you?
Jesus came into this world over 2000 years ago as the first gift of Christmas [Luke 1:6-14]. The great thing about Jesus is He is the gift that keeps on giving. He never runs out and He can be re-gifted to others.
You can take what you receive- Jesus- and you can share Him with others. There is enough of Jesus so you can keep Him and give Him away too. He never runs dry.
“For we have a magnificent King-Priest, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who rose into the heavenly realm for us, and now sympathizes with us in our frailty. He understands humanity, for as a Man, our magnificent King-Priest was tempted in every way just as we are, and conquered sin. So now we come freely and boldly to where love is enthroned, to receive mercy’s kiss and discover the grace we urgently need to strengthen us in our time of weakness.” (Hebrews 4:14-16)
Think about this: The God of the universe “sympathizes with us in our frailty,” he “understands humanity.” How? Because he “became a man and lived among us,” as John says! He “became human to fully identify with us!”
God lived this life, which means he understands your life—all of your frailty and pain, your baggage and brokenness.
He understands humiliation because he was humiliated on the cross. He understands rejection because he was rejected. He understands sorrow because he was a man of sorrows.
Do you ever wonder if God understands your life? Well, wonder no more! Because the beauty and majesty of the Christmas season is that Mary gave birth to Emmanuel, to the God who became one of us.
We live in a hurting world. There are people you pass every hour of every day who have no joy, no peace, no patience. They possess none of the fruit of the Spirit because they do not have the Spirit. They do not have the Spirit because they do not have Jesus. YOU have what they need. They don’t even realize they are on a long list, a waiting list for a heart transplant. They need the heart of Christ or they will surely die. You, my friend, are the carrier of life. The one carrying the organ they need.
You can help the list grow smaller and smaller one person at a time. Won’t you share the greatest gift you’ve ever been given….the gift of life…Jesus…the first and only true gift of Christmas?