Monday, December 19, 2011

:: Your Response to His Arrival ::

Two-thousand years ago, the newborn Jesus was swaddled by his mama and gently placed in a manger because "there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:7)"  Today, He is still denied entrance in many of our communities, schools, and homes because there is "no room."  Everywhere we turn it seems there is another innkeeper shutting their door with a resounding "Happy Holidays" or "Merry Xmas" in an effort to showcase tolerance over acknowledging His rightful place as the Son of God.  The world's response to His arrival and invitation to Salvation is often closed and unwelcoming.  As we wrap up school activities and projects and ramp up gift wrapping and family gatherings, let's take a moment to examine the responses of the key players of that first Christmas as a guide for our own hearts this season...

Joseph's response was obedience (Matthew 1:18-25).  When he heard that his betrothed was with child, he had planned to divorce her quietly.  Yet after the message God sent him through an angel in a dream, Joseph's natural reaction was obedience.  He took Mary as his wife and purposely led his family through each step God revealed to him.   
Simple obedience.

Mary's response was wonder and reflection (Luke 1:39-56).  After hearing the news that she was to be the mother of God's Son, she took some time to visit her friend, Elizabeth - away from the city, away from the crowds of people who might judge.  She was still before God and poured out her heart in song.  We see this response again as she watches the shepherds and wisemen visiting her baby - she treasures up what she sees in her heart and marvels at the plan God has set before her.   
Quiet reflection.

The shepherds' response was one of excitement and joy (Luke 2:8-20).  After the angels told them what had happened in Bethlehem that night, the shepherds immediately left their fields to find the baby.  Their worship and enthusiasm didn't stop there - they ran throughout the city telling everyone they met of their encounter with the angels and their witness of the Savior of the World.   
Uncontainable joy.

The Wisemen's response was one of worship and sacrifice (Matthew 2:1-12).  These men left the comfort of their homes and traveled for several years to reach Jesus and when they found Him, they offered the small boy treasures fit for a King.  In recognition of His position as Lord and Savior, these men gave glory and honor.  Humble worship and sacrifice.  

Simeon and Anna's response was truth-speaking and thankfulness (Luke 2:22-28).  This man of God and prophetess met with Mary, Joseph, and Jesus in the temple.  They had waited many years to witness the Messiah's arrival and their response was an outpouring of truth-speaking.  They could not hold back their joy and thankfulness that the Savior had finally come and that God had blessed them with the honor of being able to bear witness.
Authentic thankfulness.

What will your response be to the news of Jesus' birth?  How will you receive Him into your heart and home this season?
Photo Credit: Marian Trinidad at CreationSwap

Simple obedience...
Quiet reflection...
Uncontainable joy...
Humble worship and sacrifice...
Authentic thankfulness...





Disclaimer: This article was first published in a local school newsletter.  All content belongs to me.

4 comments:

  1. Hello Alle: I am visiting for the first time and love your blog. This post...love it! I celebrated Advent for the first time in my life and my reaction was quite overwhelming. I went through the quiet reflection, the tears of thanksgiving, humbly worshiping and definitely uncontainable joy. So much that I wanted the Nativity Story on DVD and by the time the baby Jesus was born, I was bawling like a kid. This was a perfect Christmas indeed.

    Maria @ A Blooming Spirit

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  2. Maria - thanks for stopping in...I just hopped over to A Blooming Spirit and have added you to my reader...beautiful work over there! Advent is such a special time to celebrate...the roller coaster of emotions it takes you on though can be exhausting work, but as you've discovered is well worth it! I've not seen the Nativity Story DVD...need to look that one up!

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  3. This is just BEAUTIFUL Alle!!!

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  4. Thanks, Jessica! I've really been convicted about how I respond to the story of Christ's birth and so, I went to Scripture to see what the response of others looked like...that's what I came up with...I prayerfully asked God to give me a measure of each of those attitudes as I work through the holidays.

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