The birth of Christ is the most well-known and celebrated story, through the prophetic anticipation of our Savior to His miraculous entry into the world. The sweet simplicity of the manger and humility with which God delivers His Son brings forth the foundation and stage for the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. There are magic and wonder in angelic hosts opening up skies and a star so bright it guided many across the land to kneel down in praise of the newborn King. The Christ-Child is born and to this day, His Name brings forth a resounding Hallelujah!
This season awakened in me, a new perspective surrounding the Christmas Story. Have you ever taken a deeper look into what this tale really tells? Each character in this drama may reflect each one of us- through generations and history, the Christmas Story is still living on in the lives of us all.
Did God place these people perfectly in this profound birth for a reason?
There is significance in each one who played a part in the coming of Christ and perhaps we each have our own role in the same story thousands of years later. Are we those same characters? Do you see the traits of any of these people in you? In someone you know? Maybe God was sharing with us through His Son’s birth, a story much bigger than the illuminated eve of the Christ Child. Could it be, that within the pieces and parts of the plot-
He was showing us what role we would play?
Perhaps each one of us is chosen by God to live out the trails and trials He calls us all through for His Kingdom. I believe we are all a part of the Christmas Story…
What courage and faith it took for her to allow God to demonstrate His love through her in the most miraculous way. The conviction she must have pulled from the depths of her heart to see it through. The path she chose to take in honoring His Call was one of trepidation and fear. God chose her to be the miraculous mother of Christ, playing her holy part in history. She was called and she responded with bold faith… living out her purpose for the kingdom of God.
Trusting. Faithful. Obedient. Sacrificial. Courageous. Her path was terrifying, tumultuous, and ultimately glorifying.
Is our path much like Mary’s? Are we faced with unbelievable news? Are we brave enough to move forward and trust God’s plan?
A man who is told something impossible to believe. This man, who in the face of the winds of rules and culture and community, took on a message and carried it fully in the name of God. He risked his life to carry out God’s Divine assignment. He believed Mary. He trusted God’s purpose and stepped into God’s Plan with only faith as his armor and strength. He stood alongside Mary in carrying out the ordinance of delivering God’s only son. He boldly stepped forward in God’s will for the sake of eternal hope.
Loyal. Committed. Faithful. Strong. Courageous. His road was burdened, changed, challenged and lifted into history.
Is our road the same as Joseph’s? Are we faced with unthinkable decisions and unfathomable futures? Do we trust in God’s guidance for our lives?
Just a hard working servant, living out his life in the field. A position that doesn’t bring integrity, and yet it is critical to the culture of the day. A Shepherd’s job is important, yet not dignified. He labors all day and night tending to the flock, with little pay and less moral esteem. He does his work alone, and doesn’t mind the dirt or the grime or being isolated from the mainstream. He carries out his purpose. This is his place in time, and he is committed to the harsh life on the land where he lives.
Sacrificial. Serving. Humble. Hardworking. Unnoticed. Chosen. Their lives forever changed when God deemed them worthy to hear the greatest message of all time.
Do we labor tirelessly and sacrifice ourselves for the sake of our work, whatever that may be? Do we feel ‘unnoticed’? Does God choose us?
The Three Kings…
Ah… Royalty. I can picture the Magi making the trek across the vast desert to see for themselves, the Christ Child. They came from prestige and power. What I can’t imagine is how they were able to understand the significance of this birth. They didn’t need anything more in their lives. They lived far away in their own land and had their own dignity to deliver to their people. And yet? They stopped their high life of comfort and wealth to travel the harsh terrain to meet the true King. Perhaps they realized that the light of this world didn’t come from their garnished robes or jeweled crowns. They sacrificed their days of freedom and bountiful feasts while they journeyed in search of their true Messiah.
Wealthy. Rulers. Majestic. Powerful. Wise. They needed nothing, lavished in luxury, but journeyed in search of the True King.
Are we full of worldly riches and power, perched on our own thrones? Have we opened our lives to the light of our true King? Perhaps we may sacrifice our riches and roles in the search for the gift and hope in Christ.
The Inn Keeper…
The Inn Keeper had no room, but he offered what he had. It wasn’t glorious, but in doing so- he allowed Heaven’s Doors to open and pour God’s Grace on the world. It was such A busy hectic time for them, as people crowded the city for the census. The Inn Keepers were inundated and surely stressed from the frantic fury swirling all over town. Who would receive the knock on the door and open it to see Divinity in the midst of the madness? Who would truly see the need and meet it?
Overwhelmed. Unavailable. Pressure. Busy. Distracted. One host opened the door and let God in, and gave what little left he had to give.
Are we too busy to make room for God’s Plan? Are we too overwhelmed and distracted with our lives to let God in, to see a need right before our eyes? Which Inn Keeper are we?
Ah, the angel… the heavenly hosts that exude light and hope of Christ’s coming. They create fear and awe because of their Holy voices that proclaim truth and exalt His Name. They bring the message of God’s Plan and open the Heavenly gates to God’s Grace. Angels are often God’s deliverers of love, of hope, of help. They bring light to those in darkness and they serve those in need. The Angels appear throughout this sacred story, affirming God’s great plan with the encouragement needed to carry it out.
Comforter. Light. Messenger of good news. Holy Helper. The holder of Hope.
Do we shine His Light in the darkness? Do we deliver His Good News? Do we radiate peace, love, and mercy to those who need it most? Are you called to be an angel right now?
Maybe the picture of the Christmas Story really portrays the story of us.
Whether we are robed in royalty or labor tirelessly in the fields.
Whether we are busy and distracted by the business of our day, or called to deliver good news to another.
Whether we are a man or a woman called to a bold, terrifying, and difficult mission for God’s eternal purpose.
We are all somewhere in the harsh terrain of the land, following the guiding light and hearing the Angels’ voices which lead us to the light of our Savior. And despite the cruel intention of the wicked who try to thwart God’s Plan, much like Herod did in the day-
There He is…
“Immanuel”– God WITH us. Lying in the hay awaiting patiently, unconditionally, anxiously, for our arrival.
Who will kneel at His side and bow down to receive His Holy Unending Merciful Love?
He is still waiting.
What roles will we play in our lifetime? I believe we all have a significant part after all.
God has shown us the way…
The story isn’t over, yet.
Merry Christmas everyone.
God be with YOU.
another jennifer says
Merry Christmas, Chris! I remember this post from last year, right? I still identify with Mary. Oh, what a year it’s been and I am thankful for God showing me the way.
Merry Christmas Jen!!!! Oh, how I LOVE that you remember this one!! I really liked the message, so I decided to polish it up a bit and push it out again! 🙂
I love you. I’m SO incredibly proud of you.
Here’s to 2016!!! Keep SHINING. You have a light that won’t QUIT.
Mary McLaurine says
You have such a wonderful way with words and crafting a story. Even for me, a “no-longer” Catholic, your story brings forth questions we should all regard, no matter what our faith. Are we being the best we can be in this world – to ourselves and to others?
Really thoughtful insight into this age-old story so many believe, follow and hold so dear.
Merry Christmas, dear friend!
PS I think all mothers are in some way Mary <3
Mary, I just appreciate you so much. Do you know that? When I read your comment a while ago, it truly blessed me- and as I re-read it again now- I feel so deeply grateful for your words once again. THANK YOU dear friend.
PS: I think all mothers are in some way Mary and in all ways, the Shepherd! lol 🙂
My Inner Chick says
May GOD have MANY more plans for you, darling!! xxxxxx
Oh I do hope you had a BEAUTIFUL and BLESSED Christmas, dear love. I believe God has SO much in store for you too! oooooo 🙂
This is great! I love that we can look at our own character traits in comparision. Sharing this on social media!
Thanks so much, Tasia! I appreciate the share too. 🙂
As a mom, I definitely identify with the shepherds. A lowly position in society… no real mom in her natural habitat adorns any magazines of “Most Beautiful/Hottest Women”, or graces the fashion pages. Or the business section for that matter – despite running her own successful empire. And yet — the shepherds, the Unseen – were the first to see this wondrous miracle. To behold our Saviour first. What a privilege!!! What an amazing blessing to be the ones to receive that angelic message and hear the voices of Heaven. Can you just? 🙂
I know RIGHT? I can’t even… 🙂
I’m totally a shepherd too. He picked US! Wow.