“Christmas began in the heart of God. It is complete only when it reaches the heart of man.”
STOP. Take a deep breath. Exhale all the stress from the busyness of the season and inhale the Babe in the manger in the form of the Holy Spirit. I encourage you to take a few minutes, make yourself a cup of tea or coffee, put your legs up, and sit quietly before the Savior to ponder all He’s done.
I love this time of year, Advent, when we wait expectantly for the arrival of baby Jesus, on Christmas day. There’s excitement and preparation for the event. Tonight is my own personal advent when my daughter Lindsay arrives home from being gone the past few months. I’m preparing the house as well as her favorite meals and goodies to eat.
Thirty-two years ago I was doing the same thing, preparing for the arrival of our first born child. I decorated the baby room in a rainbow theme and a few days before her birth I tried my hand at making cinnamon rolls from scratch, which began a new Christmas tradition. I was so excited and couldn’t wait for her to come!
I’m sure Mary, in Luke chapter one, experienced a myriad of emotions. Excitement, confusion, fear, and awe must have filled her heart when the angel declared she was highly favored and that the power of the Most High would overshadow her, impregnating her with the Son of God. Mary’s miracle was not only the birth of Christ, but her response to the angel.
“‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May it be to me as you have said.'” (Luke 1:38) Humility. Submission. Being a servant. These describe Mary’s reply to all the angel had spoken to her. I can’t help but think this was the attitude Mary had while she waited in expectation during that first Advent.
As we prepare our hearts toward the arrival of baby Jesus, let’s follow in Mary’s steps and respond to our King with a heart full of humility, marked by repentance and the readiness to forgive those who have hurt us. Could we be God’s servant to someone who needs help? Could we, this Christmas, be like Mary and experience our own miracle as we respond, full of submission to whatever Jesus asks of us. “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.”
“Christmas is based on an exchange of gifts; the gift of God to man-his Son; and the gift of man to God-when we first give ourselves to God.”
1. How can you prepare your heart for the arrival of the King of Kings?
2. What is Jesus asking you to do? Will you humbly submit to Him?