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Christmas Transformations
December 28, 2016

According to the Gospel of Luke, Mary received a highly irregular, life-changing visit from an angel.  In Luke 1:26-38addressed her with the words “Do not be afraid.”   Really?  “The Lord is with you.”  Gabriel went on to explain that she would conceive, without having known a man, and give birth to a son who was to be named “Jesus,” a significant name since its Hebrew form, yasa, contains the word “saves.”  “son of the Most High” is a clear messianic affirmation. Mary did not ask for a sign nor indicated doubt in comparison to Zechariah.  She only replied, “Hello! Yo dude!  See, I am a virgin.”  The angel said Mary would be overshadowed by the Holy Spirit. 

There were no apologies for Mary’s inconvenience nor any mention of her potential for shame, ostracizing and death by the community.  Mary’s pure humility is incredibly attractive; a perfect example of a godly response; beautiful to see, much more difficult to pull off.  Of course she would have been disturbed by the unexpected visit, but when she heard the Angel’s message she responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.”   She humbly accepted God’s plan and her role in it.  She showed neither a pride of worthiness nor protest.  She accepted God’s sovereign rule in the assignment before her.  Her life would never be the same again.    

The fact is that the world would never be the same again.  Isn’t it amazing how the birth of a baby boy 2000 years ago has reshaped our world?  All the commercialism, partying, shopping, decorating, parking rage, lights, especially the lights, etc., are all traced back to the Bethlehem birth.  Jesus’ birth marks the re-dating of our calendar; his life created such a raucous he was crucified on a cross.  His followers, convinced of his resurrection, took his message of love and hope to every corner of the world.  His birth, life, death and resurrection changed the course of history and now continues to transform lives. 

How is your life, attitude and actions being transformed?  Celebrating Christmas transformations takes place when we are available to God, accepting his calling for our lives.  What follows is peace, joy and a sense of meaning and purpose.  When people decide to follow Jesus, this transformation begins to take place and continues for the rest of life.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”  2 Corinthians 5:17

pj
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