There are so many characters in the Christmas story. As I think through how is it possible to identify with just one?
Do we not all feel like each of them at times?
How many days do we feel like the lowly shepherds? So often unnoticed, unappreciated. As others receive praise we sit back encouraging them in their journey. Our gifts feeling unnoticed. But we shouldn’t forget how the angels chose to appear and announce Messiah’s birth to shepherds society often forgot.
And the wise men. Ancient astrologers. Mystics as far away from the Jewish faith as any could be. Yet God still chose to reveal the Messiah to them. Do you ever feel so far from God that He could never speak to you?
Have you ever considered the inn keeper who turned them away? Only giving them a cave which animals used as shelter.
Then there is Joseph. I wonder how he felt. We’re told he was an honorable man as he planned to divorce Mary quietly after learning of the pregnancy, but he obeyed when the angel visited. Did he ever become discouraged when he thought of his own plans he had for his life? How often do we make plans only for circumstances to cause a detour? Do we shift our perspective and rest in the role God gives us?
Yet Mary is the one who gives me pause to think this advent.
She questioned nothing except for how it would happen. Simple obedience in spite of knowing what people would say. How they would question her reputation. The whispers behind her back. Knowing how difficult it would be and how it would change her life.
Shouldn’t that be our prayer? For a faith so clear, so strong, that our only answer would be “may it be done to me according to your word.”