Thursday, December 24, 2009

Words from Wednesday

There is one thing I hate about Christmas. (Yes, it is possible for me to hate something about my favourite holiday!) The thing I hate is the feeling I get. . .about not being good enough. I despise the smug (and even condescending) looks people give when their tree is better than mine, when they talk about the presents they are giving to be superior to the measly gift I thought of, when the food I bring might not be sufficient for the caliber of people at the party, when my little tradition isn't extravagant enough. . .yah, you get the picture.

The sad thing about this, is I buy into it all! I listen to it all! I lose my confidence in the Christmas my family and I are trying to have. I actually start to feel like I am doing Christmas wrong!

That is when it is time to think back to the real Christmas story. Aside from all the stuff about the "real meaning of Christmas" being about the birth of our Saviour, I need to look at the characters—the real people—who played such a significant role in unfolding God's plan of redemption for all people.

Look at Mary and Joseph. They came from the lowliest of cities, they were poor, and they were both put into a situation that caused them to lose their respect and dignity. A young pregnant girl could be stoned. The man who took her as his wife was frowned upon. Yet God asked them to be part of His plan, and they said yes.

Look at the shepherds. They got to hear the great words of salvation first-hand from the angels. Them in their fields, probably feeling hungry, cold, and dirty. Them with all their stature and pious standing in society. Yet God asked them to be part of His plan. They dropped everything and went to see the baby.

Look at the wise men. Those nobles from another country. With all the wisdom God revealed to His chosen people over the years, it wasn't the Israelite wise men who went in search of the newborn king, but those from far away. God asked them to be part of His plan, and they followed the star and offered gifts to the baby who would one day save all of God's people.

Look at King Herod. His goal was to get rid of any threats to his power and glory. And so he created a search for this so-called king. He was so consumed with himself and his power that he missed it completely. Missed the chance to be find the baby, to lead all of the people in the way of the Lord, and to receive a free gift of salvation.

Look at baby Jesus. Christ came to this world as a helpless baby, born in a lowly stable, during a time of unrest and fear among "His" people. He came to this world poor and unassuming, but would play the greatest role in all of history—He would save us from our sins—something no person could possibly do. He listened to His Father, He obeyed God and came down from heaven to be a Saviour for all.

This Christmas those are the people I want to reflect on and perceive as important. Those are the voices I want to hear are those that said yes to God and his plan of salvation. I want to hear the voice that is calling me to obey and play a role in His redemption. Those are the voices I want to listen to, and that is the voice that I want to "buy into" this year.

Merry Christmas! Blessings to you as you reflect on the Baby born to be a Savior to us all!

*photo from here

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