Christmas has taken a lot of meanings over the course of my life. At different stages in my life it has brought forth different flavors. As a child, Christmas was all about going to my grandparents home, attending the midnight mass and eating lots of “Appam and curry”. During school years, it meant a mid term exam and a break. During college years Christmas was about gifts and carols.
Today as an adult I sit back and reflect on all those stages…reflections melts into nostalgia but thankfully reality takes wing and I utter, “I am thankful for the memories of the past but embrace the immovable desire for my purpose and adhere to the unfolding of my destiny as God has designed it, with gratitude.”
This year, Christmas has taken forth a new set of meaning. I was listening to my husband share on Mary with couple of our friends and this thought formed in my mind. 2000 years ago the angel appeared to Mary and said something like this, “You have an opportunity to bring forth the much awaited, the much longed for, the much sought after, the much prophesied about Messiah into this world. You in?”
Mary thought about it and said, “You see, I aint’ sure how in the world this is gonna happen, but I AM IN.“ Mary knew that meant possible stoning, Mary knew that meant rejection, it meant her own fiance’ disbelieving her, losing trust in her, that she would be looked at with horror, the purity that she held valuable would be discredited for no fault of her’s, it meant standing alone for her convictions, running from place to place to protect this Jesus, to be moved away from family and friends to protect the cause of this Christ, allowing the sword to pierce her soul multiple times. It required the mundane raising of a child, protecting and doing her very best, offering her life for what looked to her like just another infant, except with some promises. Guarding as precious what is so meaningless today yet with a potential of redemption for tomorrow. Raising a son born only to die, but…grave could not hold Him!
Today God is asking me the same question. “There is an opportunity to bring forth Christ through your life. It might involve some stoning, some rejection, some looking upon with horror, some discrediting of your integrity and values, some standing alone, some running from place to place to protect the cause of Christ, some moving away from friends, some swords piercing your own soul, some grieving… You in?”
I know it doesn’t stop there. Death, rejection, grief, sword, loneliness horror, depression, cannot hold Him. HE will Rise. HE will come forth, HE will burst out from the most sealed up places. The enemies’ grave cannot hold Him. No, that bitterness, that depression, those failures, that hopelessness, that poverty, that disease, that condemnation, cannot hold Him there my friends. HE will rise. Yes, HE will! He has the power to rise out of those places and lifted up that all eyes may see Him. HE will give you life, and along with you, life for many others who would see Him.
Only if you are in to take up this offer.
So this Christmas season the angel’s question still rings, “You in?“
Like Mary, I say, “Let it be done to me according to your word, Here is your maid servant.” I do that by waving the white flag of surrender over my life situations that look bleak. I say I’m in- over hopelessness, over rejection, over protecting that cause of Christ, the gift that is been given to me, which look seemingly helpless today, full of poverty, except with some promises, over the years of fighting and laboring that lies ahead, over discouragements, over swords that may pierce through and through, over standing alone…I say I’m in.
If grave could not hold Him, nothing else is going to hold Him there. My eyes look forward to Him rising up and drawing all men to Himself from these very life situations I once pitied.
What about you, my friend?