Doug Creamer: Reflective Perspective
Every once in a while there is something strange about the timing of my column. I am going to write about something like Christmas, which for me is in the future, but for you is in the past. It gives me an opportunity to look at my topic from a unique perspective. While my gifts are neatly nestled under the tree, yours have been opened and you are probably on your way to the mall to exchange them. Different perspectives!
I am anxiously anticipating the arrival of Christmas. I still have plenty of things that must be done. You have the unique opportunity to take a deep breath and allow yourself to slow down and reflect on what Christmas is really all about. In all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season I try each evening to slow down and sit quietly by the Christmas tree, if only for a few moments, and allow the Spirit to speak to me. That’s what I want to do with you for the next couple of minutes, reflect on His birth.
I want to begin by reflecting upon Mary and Joseph. There are two important things to remember about them. First, they loved God and were devoted to their faith. They both prayed, practiced the tenants of their faith, and I believe they listened to hear the voice of the Lord. I also believe that they were obedient to the leading of the Spirit in their lives. They were prepared for the task of raising Jesus.
The second important thing about Mary and Joseph is that they were normal people just like you and me. They made mistakes and bad choices. They were not perfect parents. They struggled and did the best they knew how. They probably struggled with doubt and fear. Imagine their anguish and sense of failure when they lost Jesus for three days while Jesus was sitting in the temple. They were normal folks given an extraordinary responsibility.
Sometimes we think that the circumstances of our lives are out of control. Imagine what Mary and Joseph felt when they got the news that they had to go to Bethlehem. Joseph probably had a beautiful cradle made for Jesus but couldn’t take it with him to Bethlehem. Mary had probably imagined having the baby with the midwife from her town and having her parents there to help with the newborn. Can you imagine what they thought about giving birth to God’s son in a barn or cave? What they might have perceived as failure was all part of God’s plan.
I have often wondered if the shepherds were the only ones to see the angels on that holy night. Did an angel stop by the inn and tell the guests of the savior’s birth? Maybe, but they were too self-absorbed to go and see this great thing. I wonder if others saw the light of the angels in the fields telling the shepherds the good news. Did anyone else hear their heavenly song? If people back then are like people today, they were too busy to go and check it out. Not the shepherds, they ran with anticipation to see the savior lying in a manger. They returned to their flocks rejoicing and praising God!
Jesus arrived in the world poor by the world’s standards but rich in the love of his parents. Jesus was born to an average middle-class family yet he mingled with the rich, powerful, and political leaders of his time. Jesus was a great storyteller because he wanted us to remember his message of love and mercy. Jesus was full of compassion for those who were hurting and broken. He healed the sick and set the captives free.
Jesus came to bring hope and salvation to a dark world. Now it is our job to let His light shine through us. He completed His mission and now commissions us to take His message and His love to a world desperately in need of the good news. Christmas arrives with a message of hope; healing for the broken-hearted, sight for the blind, and freedom for the captives.
I want to encourage you to reflect on what the coming of Christ means for you. He has come to change your circumstances, to give you life and life more abundantly. He’s come to set you free. He’s come to restore your relationship with the Father. He’s come to give you hope, peace, love, and abundant joy. Christmas is more than just a child born in a manger; Christmas is the coming of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit to live within your heart.
Doug Creamer has a new book out at Amazon: Revenge at the Bluebird Café. Contact him at email@example.com