This morning after reading our devotion, Don and I talked about Mary. I can't even imagine the scene at my house if I were to say, "Hey, Mom and Dad, I am going to have a baby and the father is the Holy Spirit." Yeah, Right! First of all, the story would not be believed, and there is no doubt that I would have been dismissed from the premises for bringing such a disgrace upon my family. After all, what would the church people say? What would the neighbors say? How could my parents tell their pastor and family members that their daughter was pregnant? We didn't even use that word in our house. I'm sure I would have been highly ridiculed and considered out-of-my-mind to even suggest that I had not been with a man.
Then, I thought of the boys who might have been a possible "dad" for this seemingly fatherless baby. Who among my male acquaintances would believe such a story? I can imagine myself saying, "This is hard to tell you, but I've become impregnated by the Holy Spirit, and I want to marry you. I want you to become the foster father for the Son of God." Thankfully, in Mary's case, God took care of that by sending an angel to Joseph in a dream to plead her case.
Every year, the story of Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus is played over and over in church plays, on TV specials, in movies, on Christmas greeting cards, in carols. One of our former church member's sons, who had played Joseph over nine years, told me last week that he missed being Joseph in the Christmas programs. Even though we hear the story over and over, it does not get old or dull. The excitement builds as we see the star guiding the wise men and hear the angels proclaim the Savior's birth to the shepherds. Just last night, in a crowded theater at EPCOT, hundreds of people came spontaneously to their feet as the choirs in the Candlelight Procession began to sing "The Hallelujah Chorus." There was a powerful spirit of reverence in that place.
So, I don't really need some new insight to give me inspiration. The unfolding of our Savior's birth is an old, old story that stays ever fresh and new. When we sit down with our family to open gifts, everybody anticipates the tradition of opening the Bible to Luke 2 and reading "the Christmas story." I can remember David bringing the Bible to his Dad, trying to hurry up the process. Yes, that is a family tradition, but the story is the basis for the gifts. Symbols of that night are all around - a star, an angel on the tree, lights, a nativity set, candles, gifts...all precious reminders of that night of all nights.
Lord Jesus, may the Peace that was foretold by the angels on the night of Your birth be ever with us. May we share the excitement of the shepherds who left their flocks and went seeking the Holy Child. May we become humble like the wise men who sought Him, and when they came into His presence, they fell down and worshiped Him. Let us again lose ourselves in the wonder of the Son of God who came to this earth as a baby and lived among us.
Arlene Prewitt (firstname.lastname@example.org