Christmas is about a response to good news.
Mary accepts the plan God had for her. It is not easy for us to imagine the trembling that might have come to Mary who was a village teenage girl when twenty centuries ago angel Gabriel told her that she was going to become pregnant as a virgin and before getting married.
She did not consult anyone in her family; but immediately said, “May it be to me as you have said.” Well, what do you think was the secret of her acceptance? She was well-versed in Scriptures as her song of praise shows us (Luke 1:46–55).
Remember that there had been a prophetic silence for 400 years when the angel spoke to Mary. All she had was the prophetic words that were recorded in Scripture before that gap of silence.
Mary’s role in God’s plan of salvation was unique and not to be repeated. At the same time, God has a plan for each one of our lives. Our acceptance of that plan is of utmost importance. One way to be prepared for accepting God’s plan for our lives is to be saturated in God’s Word.
See, God sent an angel to Mary. He does that rarely now. Instead he speaks to us when our minds are saturated with God’s Word. It is then than you are able to discern the faintest whisper of God when he speaks to you.
Mary, after listening to the angel, did not sit still. She got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea. Possibly a 100 km travel which took her three days to accomplish.
What a moment it was when the baby in Elizabeth’s womb leaped with joy and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit! Even at that time Elizabeth is given insight as to who the child Mary will bear is; as she addresses Mary as “the mother of my Lord (Luke 1:43).”
Take a moment to think on this visit of Mary to Elizabeth. What would you have done if you were in Mary’s shoes? Would have undertaken this travel? Was the news worth sharing?
Probably that meeting would have ended up as a WhatsApp chat today. But then Mary could not sit still at the great news that she was given. It was something which every young girl in Israel had looked forward to: to be the mother of the Messiah (see Isaiah 7:14, 9:6,7). And she was the one whom God had chosen!
Mary not only accepted the message; but she did not sit still. Compared to her, have we become exhibits in cold church museums without life? Mostly, the only spiritual activity we have is within our church boundaries; isn’t it so?
Christmas is the news of the Son of God taking birth in our hearts. It has to disturb our status quo. It has to put a sense of urgency in us to share. It should send us on our way to tell.
Sadly our Christmases from childhood have been an inward looking celebration with family and relatives mostly. But look at God: God loved the world. God gave. God sent.
What do we do about it?
Christmas is not just about reception of the good news but about prompt response as well.
Is it because God knows we won’t respond that he does not entrust us with anything worth much? If that be true let us continue with our traditions: build bigger mangers, make bigger stars, light up our homes and churches, sing carols for our own enjoyment, and share the good news with none.
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