It is a familiar story that I have heard all my life. I know all the players and their parts, and yet, this year I paused to look a little deeper into some of them and learned a few things in the process. The people of the Christmas story became palpable and more real to me as I gave them room to move about in my thoughts.
From Herod I learned what the depravity of sin will do to someone who assumes a position of absolute power. May I never allow myself to ascend the throne that rightfully belongs to the only true King of Kings.
From the Magi I learned that the heavens will declare the glory of God and that He is worthy to be pursued and praised. These Gentile wise men followed a star, never seen before or since, in order to bow low, kissing the ground before the newborn King of the Jews. Heartfelt, humbling adoration to the King of Kings. Would they find Him in a palace? Hardly. He would be found in the meager dwelling of an unpretentious couple. And yet, they bowed low in worship and gave Him gifts.
From the Shepherds I learned that God is mindful of the lowest of the low and blesses them with Good News of great joy. These hard-working caregivers of “not the smartest animals in the world” were filled with awe and amazement as they were visited at work by a heavenly host proclaiming, "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased." The shepherd’s response after they found the baby Jesus in the manger reminds me to glorify and praise God for all that I have seen and heard to any and all I meet.
From Mary I learned to receive the Word of God as a bond slave. Mary wholeheartedly and unreservedly allowed God to use her as a vessel for His glory, in spite of her fearful ponderings. She never could have imagined what Simeon’s prophecy about “the sword piercing her own soul” would mean for her, but she knew that God’s grace would be there when she needed it. Mary reminds me to look to God for help because nothing will be impossible with Him. May I respond to God as she did, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord. Be it done to me according to your word.”
The Christmas season comes and goes so quickly. Do you often feel as though you’re missing it? Step out of the relentless stream of busy-ness and dwell on God’s Word. Give time, with unhurried ears and eyes, to see and hear His loving instruction through the echoes of Bethlehem grace.
Hello! My name is Vicki Johnson, aka, gracefilledgirl.