Column — Advent week three: The joy of Christmas
Published 10:15 am Saturday, December 18, 2021
As we continue to look at the account of Christmas, we see that the angel of the Lord came to Mary and told her that she would give birth to the Messiah. She would be the mother of the Son of God! Culturally Mary was a young woman and ready to be married. She was engaged to Joseph. Never knowing relations with a man, this had to be a complicated situation. Her neighbors could stone her to death if Joseph did not accept her. Who was going to believe her? God allowed her to be with child without man. We can see her amazing response nestled in Luke 2:19, “But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.”
She pondered the cost, she thought about the godly visit and she accepted God’s decision; even though she could not know what all of this would mean in the fullest, for her life and her family. Was she afraid? According to the Word, “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.” (Luke 1: 29, 30) As we read on, we see that Mary is exuberant with joy. She praises God for the opportunity to serve the Lord (46-55).
When I was a child, I would get excited about Christmas as the decorations went up and the presents wrapped under the tree. Sometimes I would sneak out of my room at night and try to figure out what present might be mine and what it might be. Then on Christmas Day it was an absolute joy to unwrap the gift.
As Christ Followers, we have experienced the greatest gift of all, our Savior, Jesus Christ. He is not hidden under a tree. He is in our hearts for all of humankind to see. As Mary pondered with immense joy and expectation, we too can have that joy ever day. When she gave birth to the Son of God, she saw him face to face. We too have great expectation as we share this present – this great love. There is an unspeakable joy that comes in knowing Jesus and being known by him, “To be a faithful bondservant of God is to be known by Him. To be known by Him is to be a son of God. “And if a son, then an heir through God” (Galatians 4:6-7). This Christmas may we remember and express the boundless joy we have with others, every single day.
Yvette Perrin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.