The Christmas story is known by people throughout the world. To some it is merely folklore, fairytale and nothing more. It is estimated that 75% of adults in Canada and the U.S. are Christians so I would guess that to at least that population, the Christmas story is not a fairy tale at all, but a fundamental part of their religious beliefs.
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. ” — Isaiah 9:6
These words are speaking of the Messiah. I think of Mary, a young Jewish girl, who surely knew of the prophecy of the One who would come and fulfil scripture. Biblical scholars have estimated that based on the customs of the time, Mary may have been only 12 or 13 years old! I cannot imagine what it would be like for her, an angel of the Lord appeared to her and told her she would conceive the Son of God…but we don’t have to imagine her reaction, it is in the scriptures. After hearing the words from the angel, says: “I am the Lord’s servant, May it be to me as you have said.” What a humble response to this life-changing news! The news that she was to give birth to the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace!!
“In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “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. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the powere of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.” “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her. –Luke 1:26-38
I wonder how Mary felt? She was engaged to be married, she was pure, how would she explain this? What would become of her? Many of these thoughts may have rushed through her mind when she learned that she was part of God’s plan, and yet she humbly replied, “I am the Lord’s servant, May it be to me as you have said.” She accepted it, she didn’t have all of the answers as to how this would come to pass, she simply trusted that if God was going to use her to accomplish His will, she was ready to be His servant. What a lesson that is! We don’t have to have all of the answers, we have to have faith!
These thoughts about Mary make me think of the song… Mary Did You Know? The words of this song are descriptive of the enormity of what it meant to give birth to the Son of God.
Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you’ve delivered, will soon deliver you.
Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God?
The blind will see, the deaf will hear and the dead will live again.
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the Lamb.
Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you’re holding is the great I AM.