Can You See the Advent From God’s Perspective?

As the season of Advent begins, I wanted to “rethink Christmas,” looking at the story of God’s salvation plan—the story of Jesus from creation to His birth, from Genesis to the Gospels—from different perspectives and ask ourselves some poignant questions. To start, have you ever considered the holiday as our opportunity to testify to our faith?

The other day in my Bible study class, we discussed Christmas decorations and how so many have Santa and reindeer on their lawn instead of a Nativity, star, or angel—something that truly represents our celebration. It’s time we put our faith out there—yes even on the lawn! I actually have a cross on my front lawn. When you drive up to my garage you can’t miss it. It’s there year round. It’s one of my ways to make a statement about who and whose I am. Now I’m not saying that having a Santa on your lawn is bad—I like Santa as much as the next “good little girl or boy”! However, is Christmas about Santa or Jesus? What message do we want to send to a world that is in desperate need of the hope, joy, love, and peace that is born on Christmas Day? What do we want to teach our children? Jesus is the greatest gift of all!

Now, have you ever really thought what it must have been like for Mary? Read Luke 1:26-38.

She’s going about her young life, betrothed to a man named Joseph, and things are going along just fine. Then in an instant, God took whatever plans Mary had for her life and turned them upside down and inside out. Through the angel Gabriel God told her that she was going to have a baby; it didn’t matter that she was a virgin—yep, gonna have a baby. This had to be hard to hear on so many different levels, but nonetheless, Mary essentially said, “Sure, whatever you want God.” Good thing, Mary, because God wasn’t asking. This is another case of God knowing her heart. He knew she was faithful, obedient, and that she loved Him. He knew that she would trust Him even in this. Mary was favored by God and God gave her one of the hardest jobs in the world—being pregnant before marriage, becoming the mother of God, and ultimately watching Him die on the cross. There is something about Mary that enables her to do this—it’s her deep, abiding love and trust for God. Do you love and trust God that much?

When we hear about the Christmas story, we extol the selfless virtues of Mary, the mother of God, but Joseph seems to be left in the shadows (Matthew 1:18-25).

Rev. Deanna M. Young
Rev. Deanna M. Young
Rev. Deanna M. Young is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, a wife, mother, sister, grandmother, and senior pastor at a church in Houston, Texas. She is a second career pastor with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from Sam Houston State University and her Master’s of Divinity from Perkins School of Theology at SMU. Married to over 40, she enjoys leading retreats, preaching, teaching, writing, and painting—but most of all, spending time with her large family and friends.

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