Jesus Came With His Name, Just Like a Cabbage Patch Doll.

The holiday season has arrived once again and Christmas is almost here.  I don’t know about you, but I sometimes get grumpy this time of year.  Christmas feels so commercialized and centered around all the wrong things.  As I was growing up, Christmas was about being with family.  There was always a lot to eat.  Turkey and all the fixings plus so much dessert you could never taste it all.  There were leftovers for weeks it seemed. I grew up in a large family.  A lot of kids, my parents, grandparents, and uncles, and aunts.  No one had much money, so gifts were not ever really the focus.  However, the adults always made it super fun and exciting.  We read the Christmas story every year, sometimes more than once, depending on where we were or had yet to go.  


      Even with all of that, I feel we sometimes missed the idea.  We missed the purpose.  Where was the concentration on what had actually occurred?  Jesus, who is fully God, became fully man, so He could then become the Messiah.  The one way to get to heaven.  The fulfillment of the law.  


      It is such an extraordinary story.  Mary, a young Hebrew woman, is visited by an angel who tells her she is going to have a baby.  She sort of wonders how, because she has never been with a man, but she stands there and keeps listening to an angel telling her, “Oh, no worries, this is the Son of God.  No need to be afraid.  God is going to send the Holy Spirit to hover over you to put the Son of God in your womb.  You’ll carry Him for nine short months, then you’ll give birth and name Him Jesus.”  They were so kind as to even give her the name.  She didn’t have to worry about naming the Son of God.  The Messiah came with a name.  (Just like a cabbage patch doll.)   You’re going to carry, birth, and raise the very being you have been told about your whole life.  The savior of the Hebrew people.  The deliverer of all oppression.  


      Can you even imagine?  I certainly can’t.  I have read about and participated in church services and plays depicting this very story since I was old enough to sing.  I can tell you how I would have reacted.  I would have said, “Now hold up a minute Mr. Angel”.  You mean to tell me I’m going to get pregnant in a way that doesn’t make any sense to me.  Then, I’m going to have to walk around as an unwed mother while everyone stares and points and gossips about me.  This time, not because of anything I did myself, mind you.  Did anyone think of maybe asking me how I would feel about this before you made a decision? Do the things I want or see for my life even matter to you?  Tell me who I need to speak to about this.  


      Not Mary.  She said, “I am the Lord’s slave.  May it be done to me according to your word.”  Luke 1:38  She didn’t get mad. She didn’t say things she would regret later.  She didn’t develop an attitude.  She even put her confusion to the side.  She simply said she would do whatever God told her to do.  She simply made up her mind that this is what her life would be about.  


      I want Christmas to be about more than getting together.  I want it to be about more than pageants, about more than food and gifts.  I want it to be about the fact that Jesus arrived.  That when He did, we were given a job to do.  He came so that we could be told about and taught how to do that job.  He came so that we could all be made right with God, to secure our very eternities.  


      I want to be a Mary. 

When I read the verses that tell me my job, Mark 16:15, Matthew 28:19, Matthew 22:37-39, and so many more, that I will simply do it.  I want my attitude to be, this is my life now.  This is what I’m going to do.  This is what I’m about.  May whatever God wants for my life to be done according to His word.  May Christmas be a lifestyle, not a season, in my life.

Bonnie Smith
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