Monday, December 9, 2013

Anticipating Christmas by Paula Roten

As we anticipate Christmas, it is good to look at His story, "a collection of monumental moments that remind us that Christ cared enough to experience life with us. Christmas is the time to remember that Christ not only came, but he stayed, he lived, he cared." ~ Max Lucado, introduction from Celebrating Christmas with Jesus, An Advent Devotional

"Greetings, you who are highly favored!
The Lord is with you...
Do not be afraid, Mary,
you have found favor with God. 
You will be with child
and give birth to a son,
and you are to give him the name Jesus..."

"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered.
"May it be to me as you have said." 
Luke 1:28, 30-31, 38

I never get over these words of Mary in response to the angel telling her she will become pregnant with the Son of God. The repercussions of a young virgin becoming pregnant were huge back then:
  • shame for herself and her family
  • possible shunning from family and community
  • always being considered a loose woman with no morals
  • the child being called names, being rejected by other "upright" families, and recognized as the bastard-child

Yet Mary said, "I am the Lord's servant."

Fast forward to present day. 

"Greetings, you who are highly favored: 
  • You will lose your job.
  • You will become seriously ill and battle this illness the rest of your life.
  • Your husband's reputation will be questioned due to a slandering employee.
  • Your child will make a string of poor decisions.
  • You will lose your home and all that you own.
  • You will never receive that affirmation from that special person in your life.
  • You will lose many loved ones, one right after another.
  • Life will be hard."
When unexpected things happen in our lives, may we, like Mary, say, "I am the Lord's servant...My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior." (Luke 1:38, 46-47)

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