I’m sure everyone is aware of that and I’m sure most Christians believe they fully understand why we celebrate this day. Before I spent some precious time with Jesus this morning, I thought I understood the story of the birth of Jesus too. It’s pretty simple, like even a kid could tell it, right?
Well there’s a bit more to the story than we often tell. I woke up today really pondering the meaning and point of Christmas. To be honest with you, many of my first thoughts of the day were actually pretty negative (How Grinch of me right?).
I was frustrated with some issues that are going on around me and within me personally. I was upset at the many flaws and weaknesses I see in myself that keep me from truly being all God designed me to be. Knowing that I serve a God who is limitless, has ALL power and can absolutely do anything, why am I not fully reflecting His greatness and allowing His power to be fully displayed in my own life?
Not to go in deep on that tangent, but I took a moment and wrote in my journal my honest, raw, candid feelings to God. Then I prayed and asked Him, “Since it’s Christmas, what should my proper perspective be? How should I view not only all my frailties and issues, but how should I view them in light of the fact that Jesus came to earth for us? And in light of the fact that today is the actual day that we take a moment to recognize this truth.”
The Lord directed me to read out of a specific daily devotional book (I have a few options Lol); Walter A. Maier wrote today’s entry. Maier lived from 1893-1950 and was a noted radio personality, public speaker, professor, theologian and scholar. Take a read, “As Christmas Follows”:
As Christmas follows Christmas, many of you think that you know the whole story, because you have heard it so often, when in truth you can never begin to exhaust the treasures of its grace. The most deep-rooted enemy of American Christianity in our time is not the brazen atheist who boldly brandishes his blasphemy, for only “the fool hath said…There is no God” (Psalm 14:1 ASV). It is not the sarcastic Modernist who often preaches only to a handful of people, nor the down-with-religion Communist who threatens to destroy our churches, for God laughs at this bombastic boasting.
As menacing as all these opponents of our faith may be,
the most dangerous enemies of the Redeemer’s gospel are the easygoing, self-confident Americans within the churches
and without who hear Heaven’s invitation and then quickly dismiss it from their minds to live and act as though there were no savior, no Christmas with its message: God is “manifest in the flesh” (1 Timothy 3:16 KJV). These, I repeat, are the most dangerous foes because they are counted by the millions.
Now to all of you who are hurrying madly through life, with no time for the Holy Child, no heart-and-soul interest in the promise of His redemption, I say, in His name and with the pleas that involves your salvation, your blessed eternity, your promise of heaven: celebrate the Savior’s birthday every day! Take as your example our Lord’s mother, of whom it is written that after the first Christmas had come and gone, after the shepherds had worshiped and departed, “Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19 KJV).
I would like to challenge and encourage you to take a listen to the track below. It’s a few scriptures, stories and songs I read and listened to, to further ponder this devotion. I hope they will lead you, as they did me, to a place of deeper acknowledgement and understanding of the greatness found in this day we call Christmas.
Track in Summary:
(for those who can’t listen or those who listen & want to understand why each song/scripture was chosen)
Jesus’ birth and life was such a significant thing that Mary, although she was SUPER close to the miracle and was even used to give birth to Jesus, often pondered and was in awe at the greatness found in Jesus. First we see Mary pondering after the birth of Jesus and then scripture tells us that Mary kept what Jesus said in her heart when Jesus mentioned at age 12 that he was “in My father’s house” (Luke 2:49). Mary realized that Jesus was not just her son, but He was the son of the One true God.
The implications of this are HUGE and Mary kept this word in her heart. Mary who was literally the carrier of Christ, realized that Jesus came to earth for the purpose to save and redeem each and every one of us. Even though she was closer to Jesus, than we ever were, she didn’t loose the “awe factor” she never became complacent about the greatness found in Jesus.
So if Mary was never bored with the meaning of Christ’s existence, how should we respond? What does it mean for us? It means life, it means healing, it means hope, it means peace and joy, it means God loves us more than we could ever fathom, it means
we should never be “over the story of Christmas” because the story of Christmas, changes the story of us.
Scriptures & Songs Referenced: Luke 2:10-19, “Hark” by Israel & New Breed, Luke 2:41-51, “139” feat Alena Moore by Gateway Worship, Romans 10:8-13, “We Will Run/He Is Here” by Gungor, “All He Says I Am” feat Cody Carnes by Gateway Worship