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Christians or not, weather we say "happy holidays or Merry Christmas", we cannot deny that Christmas is the most celebrated festival in many countries. There is no celebration that brings excitement like Christmas, but it also brings sadness and other feelings because it a time of getting together with families and friends and have a good time, but not everyone has families".
Although we laugh, we dress up for Christmas work parties, and shop till we drop, it wasn't such a joyous time for the lady of Christmas. Mary, whose whole life changed from that one simple calm message exchanged between her and Gabriel, the angel of God, that sweet Sunday morning, "Mary thou art highly favoured among women, and you shall have a son and call him Jesus...... ". It was supposed to be a good news but why did it feel like a bad news?
God could have used a prophetess or a princess in a palace to announce his intentions but he chose to use a peasant girl from the neighborhood. There was nothing fancy about Jesus birth. Mary was chosen, so that we all average women can identify with her, that God does not need degrees, beauty, special skills to conceive his plan in us. He just needs a willing heart. Mary's story meets us at the level of everyday experience, and ministers to single mums, out of wedlock mum, step children, Jesus met all those needs. He was conceived out of wedlock, he was the step son of Joseph and Mary was a single mother to be, till Joseph married to stop any ill rumors.
An angel of the most high God, spoke a silent word, relayed a message of hope to the entire world through her and announced that she was going to carry that message inside of her. That one good news took her life into a course she had never anticipated. In one brief moment, her entire world changed.
We read the story in the Bible but rarely do we stop and think what really went with her. Was she always calm and peaceful throughout her journey into this new chapter of her life that she did not choose.
From preparing for her grand wedding, she was now preparing for a possible divorce, a breakup. She didn't know weather to cry or to laugh, to rejoice or to mourn.
What do you do, when someone else makes a decison over you, that you have no choice but to accept?
The days and months that followed the announcement ought to have been difficult.
One message can change your entire plan, your life.
She tried to be excited about the baby but so much was happening and so quickly, that she had no time to feel much of anything.
One minute she was in the safety of her home with her family and the next minute she was on the run from King Harod who was threatened about her unborn child. She was homeless, she was broke, she was a teen pregnant girl with a child out of wedlock and a refugee with no home. That does not sound like a good Catholic Mary most people worship. If she turned up in your church, I have to wonder where would she sit, and who would talk to her?
Like all girls, she also dreamt about being a mother one day but not before she got married and most certainly not like this.
She didn't get a chance to plan this pregnancy, or to paint the baby room or buy the soft cuddly toys and knit the booties.
What do you say to your friends, to your work mates, when you get pregnant by a Holy Ghost? Would the church of today accept her?
The word of God says, she ran to her cousin Elizabeth to share her news with. It is obvious that she had no one to talk to and no one would understand anyway. Elizabeth, her cousin was the only one who she could confide in and she understood because she too had an encounter with God.
Joseph loved her but could not touch her till the baby was born. Here she was betrothed to marry him yet she was having a baby by someone else. I am sure he had difficulty believing on her innocence in this, but the angel of the Lord took care of that as well. I am certain he had many questions, yet like Mary, he too chose to believe God and not cancel the wedding. He went ahead and married her, but nothing was the same again.
There was this unspoken words that hung on the air for both.
She perhaps longed for his touch, she was married but was lonely as they were not husband and wife in the real sense. They did a marriage of convenience.
To say the least, God came and busted their life plans and put His very own plans over their plans.
Has God ever come into your life and busted your plans? We all think we have our life kind of mapped out, that we should be married at certain age, buy a house by certain age, travel and see the world but there comes God and messes it all up, tells you of His plan.
Mary submitted to God and accepted His call over her life, but it cost her something. It will always cost you whenever God calls you.
There is a price to pay for your faith. Nothing comes easy. If you want big results, that big faith is required.
What message did God send you? It was hard for Mary, but she submitted to her calling. Calling is never easy, it will take you out of your comfort zone, out of your own plans and dreams because you were made for a reason. He has impregnated you with his promise in your belly and you will not fit into anything till you find that promise, that purpose.
Jesus was not born in some fancy palace in a soft bed with silky robes, swimming pool and servants and nice soft rugs. He was born in a homeless situation so that His birth can speak to you and me who are far from palace. We now have the palace living inside of us.
You may not have much money to buy decorations and a Christmas tree or presents this Christmas, but remember, God purposely did not choose all that glamour for his son, but simplicity.
Weather you have much or not, remember, Jesus is the only thing that matters this season. His love is the only thing that matters.
A single young girl who sacrificed her own dreams and a young boy who gave up all to honor this girl God had chosen to carry His promise to the world. It is the love of God, the promise of God,
When we submit to God as Mary and Joseph did, we birth the promise that God has placed inside our belly.
Love of God for you and for me.