The Lessons of Christmas

Christmas is the time we celebrate the birth of Jesus. We read the Biblical accounts of His birth in a lowly manger in a town far from home and all that happened on that extraordinary night. We rejoice at the fulfillment of the prophecies of the birth of a baby that would save the world. I think most of us are very familiar with the story of Christmas as found in the Bible. In case some are not sure, the text can be found in here (Luke 2:1-20).

I wanted to do a Christmas blog series using a different angle to study some of the lessons we can learn from the birth of Christ. Each week, we will look at the story of Christmas through the lens of 1 Corinthians 13:13 “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” For this blog, we will look at faith’s role in this story.

Mary's faith allowed her to proclaim - My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. Click To Tweet

Earlier in Luke, we find the story of when the angel appeared to Mary to announce her role in the birth of Jesus. Mary’s response to the angel (called the Magnificat) appears in Luke 1:46-55. Picture the scene, a young girl (estimated to be as young as 14) who just found out she is pregnant by the Holy Spirit. So many questions must whirl around in her mind. I am not married, what will Joseph think? What will my friends and family think? Do I want the responsibility to raise such a unique child or am I even qualified? Mary’s faith becomes evident in the first words uttered after the announcement, “46 And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” Her faith in these circumstances astonishes me. I don’t believe this would be my first reaction. I think I might be more like Sarah when the angels said she would be pregnant in her old age, and laugh in disbelief (Genesis 18:12).

Although we don’t have a full speech recorded for Joseph’s response to the news, his faith is still evident. As Mary explained the situation to Joseph, we learn he did not want to expose Mary to public shame so decided to send her away privately (Matthew 1:19-21). Did Joseph believe Mary’s story? An angel also appears to Joseph to confirm the news, and he decided to still take Mary as his wife. Joseph’s deep faith in God allowed him to believe in a virgin conception even when none had occurred in all of history. Joseph believed in the Old Testament words of Isaiah 7:14 “Behold! The virgin will conceive and will give birth to a son, and they will call his name ‘Immanuel.'” I pray for such a faith as his.

I believe, do you believe? Click To Tweet

And, then there are the other characters in this story. The wise men whose faith drove them forward on a long journey for many days, if not years, to see the newborn king. They wanted to worship Him and present Him with gifts. Would my faith be profound enough to follow a star for an extended period? We also see the shepherds in the fields, tending their flocks. They leave everything behind because of the words of a choir of angels. Their faith propels them onward to see the babe in a manger. Would my faith be blind to see the angels?

The Christmas story announces the arrival of our King, but it also demonstrates the depth of faith for each of the participants. Their faith teaches me to keep my mind open to the mysterious works of our Lord. The baby in the manger will lead me to the cross of salvation and, teach me to believe in miracles all in hopes of growing my faith. I pray all of us can learn to be more faithful like the players in the Christmas story. Join me next week as we look at the lesson of hope from the birth of Jesus.

The baby in the manger will lead me to the cross of salvation and, teach me to believe in miracles all in hopes of growing my faith. Click To Tweet

Blessings,

Yvonne – #blogger, #speaker, and #author

Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”


Additional Resources:

The Peace of Christ at Christmas blog by Melissa McLaughlin

The Birth of our Savior

Grief During the Holidays

 

26 thoughts on “The Lessons of Christmas

  1. Peggy Bodde

    “The baby in the manger will lead me to the cross of salvation and, teach me to believe in miracles all in hopes of growing my faith.” Beautiful! This post gave me a new perspective on the faith required by all who were touched by Christ’s birth. I’ve never thought of this before. Thank you for your words and the gift of a new perspective during a season where it can become too easy to recount the familiar story.

  2. I love this as an advent study! I was just scheduling a post today about Mary’s song and how she rejoiced in God despite the fear that must have gripped her heart when thinking about the unknown in her situation. Loved reading this!

  3. Beautiful post, Yvonne! I love how you helped me walk in the shoes of each person in the Christmas story. Somehow the way you expressed this made me think more deeply about the faith that was needed by Mary and Joseph. What a blessing to connect that in my heart. May our faith grow stronger with each reading of His miraculous story of our redemption!

  4. Hi Yvonne. I love studying the people in the Christmas story. Mary’s faith is fascinating and speaks to her character even before the angel’s visit. I’m especially intrigued by the shepherds. They didn’t bring their sheep with them. They left them unattended. Wow! And my gut tells me those sheep were right where they left them, perfectly safe.

    And what a cool Approach to meditating on Christmas: recognizing the faith, hope, and love in the characters. Love it!

    1. Yvonne

      Thanks Stephen. Mary amazes me especially when we consider her possible young age. It helps us to understand why she was chosen.

  5. I have often marveled at Mary and Joseph. What faith! How would I have responded? Such news would not have fit into my romantic dreams of love and marriage. Mary loved God so much, she was willing to sacrifice her dreams for His plan. Joseph, too. Such beautiful examples of faithful servants they are to us. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Yvonne.

  6. stephaniemgammon

    I love to think about Mary and Joseph’s faith. Even if an angel had appeared to me, I don’t think I would have had anywhere near the faith that Mary had. Thank you for these thoughts.

  7. twelve2nds

    You’re spot on, Yvonne. The birth of Christ was an exercise of great faith for many people. I especially like the story of the Magi. It came alive for me when I read Ben Hur. The beginning is a fictional narrative of how the wise men sought Jesus. It’s powerful and beautiful.
    I like your idea for this series. I’m excited to read more.

  8. Yvonne, you are the best at unique series and different angles to the familiar. This first one on faith proved powerful. Yes, all the people in the first Christmas story show us their faith…the spotlight on how they each placed their faith and trust in the Lord. Looking forward to hope and love. 🙂

  9. So many different expressions of faith Yvonne. I had never considered the shepherds . I would love to say I would have had the same faith but based on how my circumstances have shaken me in the not so distant path, I am not quite sure I would have.

  10. A beautiful overview of the beginning of the story of Christ’s birth. The actions, reactions, words, and decisions of Mary and Joseph at the beginning of this miraculous event testify to their faith and challenge us. A powerful meditation.

    1. Yvonne

      There are so many aspects to the Christmas story that amaze and challenge when we take the time to dig into it. Thanks for visiting Melinda.

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