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Time has been defined as a particular moment or season considered as distinct from other moments. The scripture is full of metaphors and references depicting times, seasons, and moments.
I believe God uses seasons to process our growth and key moments that eventually elevates our lives.
I have personally experienced specific moments where God’s presence, power, and anointing have touched my life in ways that forever changed me. I truly wish I had more words to specifically share the outcomes of these moments. I call these clicks of time as “defining moments.” I actually wrote a book on that topic. You can grab that book here.
I am convinced that our response to defining moments from God is a key to stepping into the shifts and transitions that God has ordered for our lives.
Prior to the first Christmas a young teenage girl had a defining moment that would forever change her and everyone around her. It would also change the whole world. Her name was Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Let’s introduce her.
Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”[a]
But when she saw him,[b] she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.
He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren.
While this is a very common Bible story there is much to learn from the manner and means of how Mary handled this moment. It was definitely a defining moment for her life as well as everyone around her.
Here are some observations as to how Mary’s life can connect to our Christmas Season and our lives today.
1. Christmas is a time of surprises
As Mary encounters this angel it was certainly a surprise. Wouldn’t it be for you? Angelic appearances are clearly unusual and often spark all types of emotions form our human perspective. Notice the scripture says in verse 29…this saying troubled Mary. The word troubled means; alarmed or distressed. It is obvious that God certainly has the power and creativity to surprise us. We would never doubt that fact. But how Mary handled the moment is absolutely intriguing. Mary keeps her calm, pushes back all fear and distress, and simply responds with a question to better understand the moment. What maturity!
Mary is teaching us that when God surprises us with struggle, faith will sustain us with HOPE!
2. Christmas is a time of challenge
Christmas always has its share of challenges. We surely realize that Mary is challenged by the news that she is carrying a child and she is not yet married. She clearly knows the repercussions of this situation. She indisputably is feeling emotions like rejection, fear, and insecurity and how will she face this unknown season. She realizes her fiancé and her families are not going to understand this unusual, but God ordered circumstance. But in the middle of challenge, Mary allows faith to sustain her and never allows fear to touch her.
3. Christmas is a time of embrace
Even as a teenager Mary has learned to embrace what she does not understand. We must learn to trust God beyond our ability to comprehend Him. God will often ask us to embrace things that test our faith and the way we live. Mary could have said; God this is too much! But no, rather than that she said; let it be unto me according to your word.” What a response! May all of us find the grace to embrace these types of moments with a similar response.
4. Christmas is a time of Faith
Faith is always in season. Faith is always the best response to every situation. Mary allows faith to stabilize her when fear was trying to paralyze her. Christmas will always stretch us and faith will always keep us. Faith is the substance of things hoped for. Let’s remember to use our faith in this season and not get caught up in our ways and our own strength.
Christmas and Faith
Faith is an anchor and Mary shows us how to respond with nobility and character to one of life’s most difficult moments. Mary is clearly an example of how to respond when God steps into challenge us to a higher place in Him…a chosen place.
Each and every one of us has a specific calling and purpose to fulfill God’s plan. Let’s learn the vital lessons that Mary displayed and get ready for a defining moment that will change our life and history because it’s your TIME!
Let’s have a “Mary” kind of Christmas