As we approach a Christmas unlike any we have known in our lifetime, many are being called to approach advent with a different heart. The hustle and bustle is still there, but not at the capacity of previous years. As believers, we know the story. Many of us have heard about the birth of a baby, laid in a manger, who is the Messiah. However, have we taken time to stop and see this story from a different perspective? A perspective of how you and I fit into His Story.
We Have Been Invited Into His Story
The Bible is a collection of God’s story starting with Creation, that points to the coming of the Messiah. His story, which began thousands of years ago, is a beautiful tapestry of invitation to us. We look at the Scriptures and see how God invited the most unlikely of those to play a major role. We see Rahab, a woman with a past, whom God said yes! This woman is who sheltered God’s people and helped them to enter into the Promised Land. (Joshua 2) We see Ruth, a woman from a different culture, who was called to the Father’s heart as she left all that she had known to return with her mother-in-law. Walking in faith, she trusted God’s leading of her life and her reward was great! The beautiful story of Esther, a quiet warrior, who had courage to approach the king. A woman who went against all cultural norms to save her people from the wicked plans of Haman. And then of course, we see Mary. (Luke 1:26-28) A young girl, chosen of God and favored among all women. God invited her to play a role we cannot even begin to comprehend. A role of carrying, delivering, and mothering the Messiah.
All of these women played a crucial role in the story of God, but none of them knew the end of the story. None of them had “the game plan” as they walked in obedience and submission to the will of the Father. But isn’t that the point? How is it truly faith when we know the details? How is it truly faith when we know how it will all work out? These women had to walk in obedience over understanding. Just as you and I are called to walk in this beautiful tapestry of God’s story, we too will be asked to walk in obedience over understanding, trusting the heart of our good Father.
“You and I are called to walk in this beautiful tapestry of God’s story. We too will be asked to walk in obedience over understanding, trusting the heart of our good Father.”
We Have His Story To Tell
The beauty of Scripture and the work God has done in our lives is a story worth sharing. In Luke, we see humble shepherds in a field who were rewarded with being the first to hear that the Messiah was here. They did not delay! The Bible says “they ran with haste” to find the Baby and to worship Him. The God of the universe saw these men, and in conjunction with the humble coming of a Savior, chose again the most unlikely of people to share the greatest news! The shepherds worshiped the Messiah then left telling everyone of what they had seen and heard. They did not delay! They knew the significance of what they had just been a part of.
As I look back on what has been a unprecedented year, I see how God has shown me what I do not have control over. He has spoken time and time again that I do not have control, but I do have influence. My family, my friends, the children in my home. These, I can influence for His Kingdom. I can share the greatest news with them. We have chosen, as a homeschool family, to dive deep into the study of Christmas through the study of the nativity and the use of the Jesse Tree. These stories, of pointing to Jesus, are being used to draw the hearts of my children closer to the Savior. As a follower of Jesus, I can share His Story, just as the Shepherds did and share the greatest news to all men.
We Can Rest In His Story
In the conclusion of Luke 2, I love verse 19, “and Mary kept all of these things and pondered them in her heart.” Everything she had just experienced and witnessed, I cannot help but imagine it was a beautiful and overwhelming moment. The glory of being in the presence of the Messiah. The glory of seeing His promises come to pass. Those promises that had been foretold by the prophets, Mary was witnessing them all come to be. Mary chose to ponder on the goodness and the blessings of her life.
This past year has brought pain and hardship to many people. It has brought a lot of past pain and hurt to the surface. It has exposed areas of our lives that might not have been fully surrendered. God, in His goodness, invites us to sit with Him in our mess and hurt and to tell Him. He already knows! He knows it all, but how beautiful that He wants to hear our hearts about it. Last year, at our TTD conference in Nashville, I had the honor of hearing Tim Tebow speak. He shared something that has stayed with me throughout this hard year. He said, “God will never waste your pain. We don’t have hope in a perfect solution, we have hope in a perfect Person. Why can I caste my burden on Jesus? Because He loved me enough to go to the cross. That is how I know He can handle it.” As we sit with Jesus in this advent season, what are we pondering on? Are we resting in His Word? I love reading the song of praise between Mary and Elizabeth in Luke 1. This song of glory as they proclaim the goodness of the Father. Resting in His majesty and promises.
The advent season is upon us. An advent unlike any before. Despite our circumstances, our God is still on the throne and He is inviting each of us to take part in the glory of His beautiful Story.