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Mary the mother of Jesus is highly respected as the woman chosen by God to give birth to the Messiah. Catholics revere her as a saint, and many believe that she herself was born without sin. But we often forget that she was just a girl…
Picture Mary. A young Jewish girl, probably about thirteen years old. Likely from a poor family. Born and raised in Nazareth, a nowhere town. A nobody in the eyes of society. Not so in God’s eyes. He delights in using people who are insignificant in the eyes of mankind to do great things on an eternal scale.
Picture an angel, not in human disguise, but coming in glory to visit this young girl in her humble home. Then this glorious creature spoke to Mary! He said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
Mary was understandably troubled. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”
Mary has the presence of mind to understand that what the angel was saying was biologically impossible. Young as she is, she knows where babies come from. She asks the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”
The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.”
”I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.
We all know what takes place next; the trip to Bethlehem, no room in the inn, a baby in a manger with Mary sitting placidly beside her husband, a night time visit from shepherds. Picture a nativity scene, or children in a Sunday School Christmas pageant.
What isn’t in the script of the Sunday School Christmas pageant is the incredible sacrifice that Mary made in order to be the mother of the messiah. Picture the neighborhood women whispering behind their laundry as Mary walks by. They don’t know about the angel, and it is doubtful that they would believe it anyway. They also know where babies come from. By her obedience to God, Mary makes a sacrifice of her reputation.
Picture Joseph, betrothed to Mary. A young Jewish man, with a flawless reputation. Even he knows where babies come from, and he knows that he had nothing to do with this one. He knows that he has the authority to have her stoned for her infidelity. But he has pity on her and decides that a quiet divorce would be the best option.
Mary knows the danger that she has placed herself in. She could be sacrificing her marriage, and possibly even her life agreeing to bear the Messiah. At the very least, she knows that she will never have the honor of being a bride in a wedding ceremony.
Picture the relief on Mary’s face when Joseph tells her that he too has had an a message from an angel, who came to him in a dream and told him, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
Today we revere Mary as the mother of our Lord. This Christmas, when we see nativity scenes and Christmas pageants, let us remember Mary for the sacrifices she made in order to be used by God.
Here's one from Jenny Heart, a sweetheart, her Triond profile is posted in the left column. She writes on several other sites as well, be sure to stop by and visit her peofile and say hello!
Triond Sunday School Lesson 17: Christmas Movie Lessons by Jenny Heart in Holidays, December 20, 2009
All about the meaning behind Christmas movies. People can learn something special from Christmas movies if they’ll only watch them. Television can be a good thing. Image via Wikipedia
Many people today watch too much television. The holidays maybe a time for an exception. There are many lessons that can be learned from all of our family Christmas movie specials.
Christmas movies touch something special within all compassionate people. This special thing is all about a four letter word which is love. These movies touch on subjects like the homeless to an ill friend or family member. They give us the opportunity to learn and grow from stories about love and sacrifice.
People who let their love shine for one another have found the true meaning of Christmas. Christmas movies always shine with hope for a better tomorrow. Watch the Christmas movie specials that come on faithfully each and every year. They maybe a rerun; however the message will be ringing in your ears for more than just the Christmas season.
Christmas movies are inspiring. They tend to fill the air with a type of magical glow. Capture this special glow by simply allowing the lessons from these wonderful Christmas movies to live in your hearts forever.
Christmas isn’t over yet. Why not pop some popcorn and make a special memory tonight? It may just have a very important lesson that has been meant just for you. Don’t miss it! It might be a special about our dear savior’s birth that is talked about in the Bible.