I’d like to welcome a sweet friend of mine Christine Leahy from She Creates. Christine is a fellow blogger and she is also a wonderful web-designer. She also creates fantastic Christian Creative websites. You will find Christine’s information at the end of this wonderful devotional.
Christine is here sharing her memory of what Christmas means to her. You all are going to love this, it’s ahhhmazzing!!! And, a BONUS…there is a coloring page for you all at the end.
So, let’s get on with this beautifully written piece from Christine.
The Meaning of Christmas
When I was a kid, I dreamt about having my own horse. I’d lie awake at night and imagine Christmas morning finding a gold embossed letter with my name on it. In the letter, I’d be required to solve a riddle. If I answered correctly, I would be directed to my next gold embossed letter with yet another riddle. I’d imagined the looks of anticipation on the faces of my parents, waiting for me to find my new horse.
I imagined the tears of joy streaming down my cheeks after gently running my hands across my new best friend’s beautifully braided mane. I imagined whispering to him a sweet declaration,
“I will love you forever.”
This scenario would run like wild horses (sorry, I couldn’t resist) through my mind until sleep ushered in a new day.
Every year on Christmas morning, I’d look for some hint of that gold embossed letter. Without giving away my heart’s true desires of having a horse, I’d peek into my stocking, under the tree, and my mom’s favorite gift hiding place.
I never found that gold embossed letter. I never whispered a loving declaration. I never cried tears of pure joy.
Eventually, as I grew older, I realized that my horse dream would never come. There’d never be a gold embossed letter for me to find under the tree. There’d never be a riddle to solve or a path that would lead me to discover a best friend.
My Christmas dream was dashed. My plans of having my own horse would be rendered impractical, silly, a childlike.
Think back to a time when you believed that Christmas morning was so magical and so supernatural. What did you dream of?
When I think about Christmas, I still think of the child like faith I had but I also think about another young girl with dreams that were dashed.
Many people hear the story of Christ’s birth and believe it’s the meaning of Christmas.
If you’re in the camp that says Christ was born to a virgin and would go on to become our Savior, then I’d say you’re right. It’s a pretty epic definition if you ask me.
But what if I said that I think the meaning of Christmas is even more epic than that?
What if I said the meaning of Christmas is to surrender?
I want to take you back to a biblical time before there was an Inn with no room, a baby Jesus in a manger, and 3 wise men bringing gifts.
Before Jesus was born there was the act of surrender.
A young girl named Mary and a young man named Joseph were engaged. Mary and Joseph were regular people living ordinary lives. They had dreams of a future together being man and wife and having children.
As they both prepared for the official wedding, something happened that prompted the need for Mary and Joseph to surrender.
Let’s look at Luke 1:26-38.
As the story is told, Mary is visited by an angel named Gabriel who tells her, hey, good news you’re going to be pregnant without the help of the man you’re engaged to.
I can’t help but think, whoa, that’s pretty heavy Gabs.
First, doesn’t Gabs know how much she wanted to be with Joseph and have his children?
Surely, God didn’t intend to shame her in front of her family and her community.
Second, doesn’t God know the desires of Mary’s heart?
I’m sure her heart’s desire didn’t include telling people she was pregnant and she was still a virgin. Talk about drama.
In the midst of this very unusual conversation, Mary has enough wits about her to ask how God would pull off the pregnant and yet a virgin thing.
Here’s what the Angel says, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.”
Don’t miss this.
The power of the Most High will overshadow you.
In other words, the power, the will, and plans of God will overshadow Mary’s power, Mary’s will, and Mary’s plans.
Here comes the biggest moment.
Mary says to Gabriel,
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.”
She surrenders her life, her will, her body, and her dreams to God.
Without her surrender, how might the birth of Jesus been changed?
I often find myself wishing that God favored me as much as he did Mary. He gave her a child that would be our savior.
I wondered what made Mary so special, and so righteous in God’s eyes.
I think I’m finally seeing Mary as she truly was. She was an ordinary girl with ordinary dreams that were all transformed by God not because of what she’d done but because of what she gave up.
I like to think of Christmas as a time to practice surrendering to the power, the will, the plans, and commands of God.
Maybe the true meaning of Christmas started when a child agreed to put God first above herself.
What can you surrender so that God may birth something new in your life?
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