Finding Christmas: Choosing Give Over Take

Thousands – even millions of people …

will go through their entire lives and never find Christmas because they are simply too fixated on constructing a God who is wrapped around their own personal and oh so selfish agenda. It could even be said that their unspoken life philosophy is to take what you can while you can and that God exists, if for no other reason, to facilitate their “happy ever after” wish list.

Christmas would have never come …

to you and I except for the fact that one very frightened but devoted teenage girl lived her life by the exact opposite philosophy . . a philosophy so very apparent in the expressed words “ginoitos moi”, or translated in English, “may it be to me”. When Mary learned of the greatest Divine-sourced imposition an engaged woman could ever imagine, that she would give birth to the Son of the Most High God, not only was there no push back nor negotiation to insure her “rights” or her entitled “needs” would be met, she didn’t even flinch in a moment of pure holy surrender,

Then Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the Lord’s servant;
may it be done to me according to your word.’ And the angel left her.
– Luke 1:38 –

The announcement from the angel Gabriel would change everything in Mary’s life . . no chapter was left untouched. The old script was shredded . . an engagement would become shattered by controversy . . a young couple would become parents before partners and be tasked with raising God . . a simple white picket fence Galilean life would become a complex road of suffering culminating in a crucifixion where Mary’s own people would choose Barabbas over the One who knew no sin.



When God asked me in my teenage years …

to give up a media production career and education at UCLA in exchange for a life of pastoral ministry that would begin with training in a small Bible college, I found the words “ginoitos moi”, but there have been many chapters of hurt and rejection where I not only questioned God, I screamed the words “Why me?” to heaven. When God asked my wife and I step far away from the “American dream” in 2008 after a long season of heartfelt searching and prayer, we found the words “ginoitos moi”, but there have been many sleepless nights since where in quiet desperation we have whispered to the Father that we can’t handle “this”anymore . .  we need Your mercy and grace.

The heart is willing, but my flesh is found often to be so very weak. I guess you could say I have flinched . . but Mary never did.



God knew what He was doing …

(of course), for there would come many a day and night where His one and only Son would escape to a lonely place and petition yet again for perhaps even a slight variation from the road marked with rejection, suffering and shame. At the climax of Christ’s earthly ministry we read this,

And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw,
and knelt down and prayed, saying,
‘Father, if You are willing, remove this cup of Divine wrath from Me;
yet not My will, but always Yours be done.’

– Luke 22:41-42 –



Christmas always has and always will be …

a “God so loved that He gave” story. It was necessary that the One who would go on to “empty Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant”(Philippians 2) have an earthly mother who would never equate “Lord serve me” with “Lord save me”, but instead would treasure such a great salvation as more than enough reason to respond to Gabriel in humility “I am the Lord’s servant”.

In doing so, Mary found the Christmas that first found her . . but make no mistake . . for today, as it was 2,000 years ago . . one can only find Christmas . . and point others to it . . if they are willing to choose . . give over take.





Noel by Lauren Daigle

Love incarnate, love divine
Star and angels gave the sign
Bow to babe on bended knee
The Savior of humanity
Unto us a Child is born
He shall reign forevermore

Noel, Noel
Come and see what God has done
Noel, Noel
The story of amazing love!
The light of the world, given for us

Son of God and Son of man
There before the world began
Born to suffer, born to save
Born to raise us from the grave
Christ the everlasting Lord
He shall reign forevermore

Noel, Noel
Come and see what God has done
Noel, Noel
The story of amazing love!
The light of the world, given for us



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About the author : David "JB" Miller


David "JB" Miller is founder and author at LifeLetter Ministries. He and his wife Cheri make their home in beautiful Paradise Valley, Arizona and have six children and six grandchildren they absolutely adore.

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