As I was driving home tonight, I thought about that young Jewish girl who became the mother of God Incarnate so long ago. She is revered, a heroine: The little woman who said yes to God, to the impossible.
Mary was not unaware of the trouble that saying yes would bring. She knew people would not understand. They might disbelieve and even shun her. She knew raising a boy called the son of God would be difficult, to say the least. She knew her life would never be the way she’d expected or imagined it would be. But still she said yes. Why? Because she believed the One who spoke, and trusted in His words.
We all have a chance to be like Mary.
We all come to that moment when the Word of God comes, and we have the choice to say, like her, “Let it be unto me according to your word.” Not because it’s easy, not because we’re not nervous nor even terrified, not because we’re perfect and flawless. We can say yes because “No word of God shall be impossible.” He who speaks is faithful, both to His word and to us. He already favored us and chose us; we have only to believe Him.
It’s that time of year again: Time for the Christmas Wars. What to say to strangers? When and how should we shop? Is this even the right day—or season—to celebrate? To Santa or not to Santa?
I have heard many convincing arguments from all sides, and I thought I’d throw in my two cents about Christmas in general.
Christmas is a beautiful time. I’d really argue it’s the most beautiful time. It’s a celebration of love and joy, a holiday commemorated by lights, lovely displays, food, gift giving and general generosity. Why? Not because the days will finally start getting longer (although that’s a bonus, especially for us up here in the Northwest). Christmas is about the unfathomable love of God and the unimaginable gift of Himself to us. The God in whose image we are made came in our likeness, so we could be like Him and with Him.
I’ve heard about the theories of religious dominance surrounding the choosing of the particular day. Many people argue (and they’re probably right) that the actual historical birth of the Christ didn’t happen on or even near our December 25. I would ask: Does it matter? If we believers do in fact believe, are we not to celebrate love and give generously every day of our lives? This is, after all, the essence of living in the “Christmas Spirit” all year round—very near to living in the Holy Spirit and by the fruits thereof (see Galatians 5:22-23). Christmas is the celebration of God’s extravagant love and the hope He brought to the earth. It’s the commemoration of the birth of the Son of God as the man Jesus. He is the light come into a dark world; I cannot think of a more fitting time to celebrate this than in the midst of winter, when all is dark and cold. So even though Christmas may not be a historically accurate day, I’m certain it is a spiritually accurate holiday, and I will always wish a very Happy Christmas to anyone and everyone.
A Picture Worth a Few Words
(Reposted from my own facebook page)
So I had to share this picture, not because of the main message (though it’s still true), but because the image itself struck me. Look at the ground she walks on: Dry as a desert. There are walls of water on either side, but they don’t come down on her. Sometimes, we go through “desert times,” seemingly inhospitable and dry, and we feel abandoned. Perhaps sometimes, what we don’t see is the torrent on either side, the raging waves we walk through that don’t crash down and take us under. Sometimes the paths God leads us on seem hard, even impossible. But these are the ways to be thankful for, because on these ways God is leading us right through the midst of chaos that would otherwise overwhelm us, even destroy us. He is a good Shepherd, who walks with His sheep wherever He leads them, so we can take heart in this as well: Desert or dry ocean bed, we are never alone.