Merry Christmas Eve. Today, before all the chaos of Christmas Day, all the wonderful bustle of family and all the feasting, let’s take a breath and remember why Christmas is so precious to believers.
Too easily the familiarity of the Christmas story can make us blasé. We take for granted that this innocent teenage girl had an angelic encounter which turned her world upside down. Have you ever considered that? Imagine what Mary’s parents must have thought! I think her mom would have probably been the only person to believe her, her story was ludicrous!
And what of Joseph, that unsung hero who determined to protect her virtue and then, following his own heavenly dream, embraced the pregnancy and raised the child as his own. Perhaps that sounds unremarkable today, but in Jewish culture two thousand years ago it would have been unheard of.
It’s not as though they could keep the fact that Jesus was conceived out of wedlock quiet either. It was prophesied thousands of years before (see Genesis 3:15 and Isaiah 7:14) and so the very fact of it needed to be made known in order for Jesus to be recognized as Messiah. Imagine being known as one who conceived a child outside of marriage in such a religious culture. It can’t have been easy.
Mary and Joseph were not angels, they were not perfect people, but they were obedient when God asked them to be, even at great personal cost. In this sense, we can esteem to follow their example. This Christmas season let’s determine to prioritize God’s plans and His glory above our own. Let’s choose obedience to Him over our own preferences and let’s praise Him with our whole being for giving us His Son.
O come all ye faithful!
For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.