Sunday, December 20, 2015

A Response to the Christmas Story









Responses, we all have them.   It's how we act, or react, in a given situation.  In the Christmas story, There are many different reactions.  Mary and Joseph humbly accepted the news of the baby  Jesus without questions.  The story says that Mary was troubled- I think terrified would be an appropriate word- yet they submit to God's plan for them.  Mary "treasured all these things that happened in her heart."  She, as a parent, never forgot that day, but she thought about them.  I imagine, she wanted to understand; to see the big picture.   Herod heard the news of the birth of a king and was "greatly troubled."  His reaction was to kill all the boys in the vicinity that were under three years old.  He was upset, and he made everyone else upset as well.  He was not going to let someone else be king.  And what of the innkeepers, who had no place for the baby and turned them away; leaving Mary and Joseph to have their baby in a stable.  Their reaction is cold and indifferent.  Perhaps it was just a fact;  there was no room.  Perhaps, they could not be bothered to make extra room for a couple of young parents with little money.  Either way, their response was to shut them out; just ignore the situation in hopes that it will go away.   The shepherds also heard about the birth of a baby in Bethlehem.  Their response was quite different.  They left their sheep, their livelihood, and went to see the baby.  They went back to their fields rejoicing that they had seen this miracle. The response of the shepherds is priceless.  They were excited and joyful that this baby had been born. The Magi, when they saw the star,  traveled for miles so they could see the one who was born, "King of the Jews."  They knew what the star meant and came to worship him. I am not sure if any of them completely understood the implications of the baby born on that first Christmas, but each of them had a life changing Christmas. Yes, I imagine even Herod's life was changed, not necessarily for good,  He wanted no part of Christmas, but I bet he never forgot that day.  Jesus is still changing lives today and all of us at some point is brought to the stable and we must decide how we will respond to Jesus.  How will you respond?

Celebrate the Child
Celebrate the Child who is the Light
Now the darkness is over
No more wandering in the night
Celebrate the Child who is the Light

You know this is no fable
Godhead and manhood became one
We see He's more than able
And so we live to God the Son

First born of creation
Lamb and Lion, God and Man
The Author of Salvation
Almighty wrapped in swaddling bands