She stood alone on the stage. The room dark around her, spotlight focused on her. She has the honor of portraying Mary in our Christmas Eve program at church. But not the Mary we normally see. Her hair isn't covered with a blue shawl and she isn't holding a baby. There are no shepherds or cute little girls dressed as angels gathered around her. She stands alone.
In our program, Mary has returned to the stable, where she comes to remember the place it all began. And she remembers the questions she had as the baby Jesus entered the world and was entrusted into her and Joseph's care. She wondered, as many mothers have done throughout the ages, what she would do with that baby. What would she do with Jesus?
The question doesn't stop there. It turns, as it should, to us. What will we do with Jesus?
As I consider the world we live in, it seems that many people who can accept the idea that a God created the earth. They can see how there is "someone" higher up than they on this chain of control. And there are others who can accept the idea of a "spirit," or heavenly being, who moves throughout the earth. But Jesus. That's more troublesome for many.
Who was He? A good teacher? A kind and loving man? Or God come to earth ... a king who stepped down from His throne to move among His people. The Son of God who chose to lay down His life as the only sacrifice worthy to cover the stain of my sin.
I know what I believe. I believe that accepting Jesus as Lord is the ONLY way to God. It was through His sacrifice on the cross that I can have a relationship with God here on this earth and in eternity. And it all started in a stable. With a baby. Named Jesus.
On this chilly Christmas Eve morning, I consider the day ahead. My day will start early with a few last-minute shopping stops. Then wrapping those gifts. In the afternoon and early evening, I have the joy of singing in our three Christmas Eve services (we had 2 last night). There will be some cleaning to get ready for dinner with family. I have a lot to get ready for.
But this day could go on in its busyness and I could miss the most important thing. I could get my home cleaned, the last presents bought, the table set and the tree adorned with beautifully wrapped gifts. But it will be a shame if I don't prepare my heart to fully understand and celebrate the meaning of Christmas.
Where it all started. In a stable. With a baby. Named Jesus.
What will you do with Jesus this Christmas?