The days leading up to Christmas present us with an extraordinary opportunity for us to grow in our knowledge of Jesus, who called himself the way, the truth and the life. Even if we have a sense of purpose in life, we don’t talk about it in that way.
But Jesus said he came for fulfill the Scriptures. He came to preach and proclaim, and lead us out of the darkness so that we may have eternal life. As if that weren’t enough, He said that He came in order to serve and to sacrifice.
There are many ways to study the life-changing reality of the coming of the Son of God. Over the next few weeks I’ll focus on a few key words associated with the birth of Jesus. Last year I focused on the words joy, peace and angel. Each of the chosen words are like Christmas treasure. I want to start with the virgin Mary this year:
“Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.” Luke 1:30-31
Can anyone fathom the immense faith Mary was called upon to have? She was a young virgin probably expecting to lead an ordinary life in a no-name Galilean town. Then the message came from heaven.
To be visited by an angel would be miraculous enough, but to hear those powerful words: “You will be with child,” in a way that no woman before or since has been with child. God chose Mary to be His instrument. A high favor indeed!
Mary is a pivotal figure during the Christmas season. She stands at the crossroads between the prophets of the Old Testament and the apostles of the New. She was asked to believe something that many of us struggle to imagine. Yet, from that day when she was face to face with an angel, to the cold night in the stable, to the day her son was mounted on a cross, her life witnessed Jesus’ message.
She was human as we are, with extraordinary faith. God bless you as you draw closer to the baby, born to a virgin, in a manger so long ago.