Luke 1:26-31; Luke 2:1-12
The most wonderful part of the Christmas story is the selection of humble Mary to become the mother of the Messiah. Christmas is often thought of in terms of emotional warmth, security, and the spirit of giving. Plays and movies condemn the "scrooge" in us and embrace the Christmas spirit, similar to a Christ-like harmony with those around us. Peace on earth is often magnified as well.
This Christmas spirit is accepted by Christians and non-Christians alike. Therefore, the average person in the west is open to the mysterious and even the miraculous during Christmas. Although some people look for Santa Claus while we look for Christ, there is a feeling that miraculous changes can happen in our lives during this special season.
The story of the birth of Jesus can be a study of contrasts. After Mary's acceptance of the promise of Jesus' birth, everything becomes chaotic and her life becomes a mess. No doubt, Mary had to remind herself that there was a miracle in her mess. In this respect, Mary is just like the rest of us. God has a purpose for us — something unique and special. Unfortunately, the mess surrounding the blessing (our miracle) often obscures it from our view. Therefore, the message today is intended to help you see the miracle God has given you and provide guidelines so that you can be a good steward of your miracle.
Just like baby Jesus, most of our miracles don't come full-grown, they have to be carefully guarded and nurtured. I want to help you discover your emerging miracle and develop it. Discovery may involve assigning value to a gift or experience in our lives. Discovery is hearing that you're pregnant and deciding to keep the child and celebrate its coming. Imagine if Mary would have aborted the baby Jesus because of the social stigma surrounding His birth. What a tragedy that would have been!
Similarly, discovering the gift alone is not enough. Mary had to raise her child safely to adulthood in order to become a heroine of the faith. The same is true of us. God's miracle may be in our house, but if we aren't able to identify it as such, and develop it, the gift never brings the full blessing God intended to either the world or ourselves.
Figuratively speaking, many of us have been impregnated by God. There is a dream, a business, a ministry, a book, a record, or some great work that He is growing within us. Unfortunately for the average person, spiritual pregnancies are even more difficult to handle than natural births. The message of Christmas can help you deal with the contradiction of your inner reality and your external circumstances.
Looking at Luke 2, it is easy to see that Mary and Joseph were in trouble. Their bright-eyed child was not born in a palace. He was born in a manger — a cradle for food for horses. Justin Martyr believed that the place of Jesus' birth was actually a cave full of horses, donkeys, and their food.