Christmas productions are getting more elaborate with grand scenes and perfect picture finish. However the first Christmas was not glamorous at all. There were no lights, no sparkles, and no guarantees. The first Christmas was a huge step of faith. Mary believed what God said to her and she stepped out in faith to embrace the miraculous conception. She was ridiculed as the young pregnant “virgin” claiming to have the child of God in her womb. That sounds scandalous in this generation and would have received eye rolls and lots of “hmmm… hmmm yeah-right!” responses. Back in Mary’s day, it would have been much worse and considered sacrilegious!
Mary hung on to the words of the angel who appeared to her as the pregnancy began to show. First she had to summon the courage to face her fiancé, Joseph, and her parents. Her words were unreal to Joseph and it took the intervention of God in a dream to convince him to still marry Mary. Their married life was nothing like Mary dreamed of, Joseph did not touch her until the baby was born (she definitely wasn’t planning for post-marriage abstinence). Add the dirty looks and alienation of friends and family to the mix – she had a perfect storm!
Mary trusted her life to God throughout the process. She laid down her life for the divine plan of God. When the angel appeared to her, he didn’t give her the detailed breakdown of everything that would happen to her and the end result. He gave her the abstract of her journey with the abridged message: as a result of finding favor with God, she would be pregnant and give birth to the Son of God. In response, Mary uttered 14 words that revealed the depth of her faith and trust in God:
“Truly I am the Lord’s servant. Let everything you have said happen to me.” Luke 1:38
Today, we have the advantage of the complete story and it’s easy to admire Mary and her journey of faith. The truth is that when she was going through the process, she had no guarantee and each day was a step of faith. She kept taking one step after the other, trusting God that all things will work together for good.
As you walk through your challenges, trust God and keep going. When things don’t seem to add up, just keep moving. Take one more step of faith. Hold on tightly to the dreams that God placed in your heart and refuse to give up. God will make things work together for your good. When you feel like you cannot go on, encourage yourself and take one more step. Don’t trust your feelings, trust your purpose and take a step of faith.
This Christmas season, as you prepare for the holidays and get ready for the new year, do not despair if things don’t look like you expect. Trust God to take care of you and give you the strength to keep going.
Remember Mary and take one more step of faith today. God is working.