There is a reason to play Christmas music: worshipful music that turns our thoughts to Jesus, inspirational music that motivates us to share Jesus with others, and fun music that makes memories.
The lights sparkling in the quiet evenings give us a sense of the starry skies in Bethlehem long ago.
The gifts – it is such fun to create or purchase gifts and to send special notes to family and friends.
The “Christmas Story” from Luke chapter 2 warms the heart. My husband reads this passage with our family on Christmas morning after breakfast and before we give our gifts to each other.
The characters of Christmas – Joseph was a just man. Mary was highly favored, and blessed among women. They were both of the lineage of David as God planned. Zacharias, Elisabeth, and John had a role in the coming of the Lord Jesus. How lowly and tenderly He came to earth as a baby, and how cruelly He left earth – on a cross. How miraculously He arose from the grave, and how majestically He lives on High. We look forward to His next and final coming as King of Kings!
The fear. Amidst the joy we have in our hearts because we know our Savior Jesus Christ, we sometimes face fears in this life – even at Christmas time. Fear? Now, that does not sound like the Christmas spirit! Fear? That is not fun! Look at these verses in the “Christmas Story!”
Luke 2:10-11 “And the angel said unto them, FEAR NOT: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”
The shepherds were afraid because “the glory of the Lord shone round about them.” God was doing something so wonderful, but it was frightening!
Luke 1:11-14 “And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, FEAR NOT, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.”
Zacharias was afraid! He was so afraid of the impossibility. He knew his wife Elisabeth was too old to conceive a baby (John) that would be great and would prepare the way for Jesus. Zacharias did not believe what the angel told him. Because of his unbelief, he was made dumb – unable to speak – for a period of time. Luke 1:20 “And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.”
Luke 1:28-31 “And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women, And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, FEAR NOT, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.”
Mary had great reason to be afraid! She was singled out to live in reproach for a period of time – carrying the Christ-child during her engagement to Joseph. This was an impossible situation! Luke 1:37 “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” To this statement, Mary replied, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” (Luke 1:38)
Do you have an impossible situation during this Christmas season? It could be a number of impossibilities of any variety; it could be a visible need or an invisible heart matter known only to yourself. As women ~ daughters, sisters, wives, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, nieces, friends ~ God allows us burdens to carry of every sort. When I read Luke 1, the Holy Spirit showed me that I need to respond to my “impossibilities” Mary’s way.
Zacharias and Mary were both “troubled“ by the words of the angels. Mary “cast in her mind” what could happen because of her circumstances. This reminds me of II Corinthians 10:5 ~ “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;“ When we do not give our “impossibles” over to God, our mind can run wild allowing an open door for the devil to pounce fear and hopelessness into our hearts.
I love the practical promise phrases spoken to Zacharias: “until the day that these things shall be performed… which shall be fulfilled in their season.” Job 23:14 ~“For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him.”
This Christmas season, I am challenged to take the “shield of faith” as Mary did. Looking through the eyes of faith, we can envision what God can accomplish. With a heart solely trusting God, we can believe He will perform His promises.
Let me encourage you, as well as myself, to share Christmas cheer & shield Christmas fear.
♥ Wishing you Joy, Hope, and Grace this Christmas ~ Jeri Lynn