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12- 14- 2017

Christmas Unwrapped: The Gift of Joy

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By: Rev. Dr. Scott Sommerfeld

And Mary said: "My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…" -Luke 1:46-47a

Sometimes we don’t know what to do about Mary the mother of Jesus.  Is she a higher class of person because she gave birth to Jesus?  Was there something extraordinary about her?  Or was she chosen because she was ordinary?  One thing we do know for sure—she embraced her calling and trusted God in the midst of what she could not comprehend or control. 

Do you remember what she said after the angel gave her the news that she would miraculously conceive and naturally give birth to the Son of God, the Savior of the world?

“I am the Lord’s servant.  May it be to me as you have said.”  That seems extraordinary to me. Her trust and confidence in God’s plan for her life is remarkable.  In the midst of things she cannot control nor fully comprehend—she trusts in God.

That is what I’d like more of this Christmas.  Maybe we should be wishing one another a “Mary” Christmas?  A Christmas filled with confidence and trust in God and His plan for our life, too. 

Another thing is certain—Mary knew she needed a Savior.  While folks today can wonder if she was perfect in order to give birth to the perfect baby Jesus, she knew that she needed a Savior, this Savior.  “My spirit rejoices in God my Savior…”  she sings for all to hear. She is filled with trust and filled with joy as she anticipates the birth of Jesus, her Savior.  Mary is a wonderful example to us this Christmas. 

 Where does Mary’s joy come from?  It is not a light-hearted joy that springs from a life of ease.  Her life is not going to be “easier” because of her special calling.  Mary is filled with rejoicing because she has encountered God -- the God of the Bible who keeps His ancient promises.  Her joy, her confident delight, does not depend on the circumstances of the day but on the realities revealed by God at Christmas.

This is what I wish for you this Christmas.  May you have a “Mary” Christmas.  A Christmas filled with joy because you can rely on the love God has for you and His plan for your life, too!

Aren’t you relieved that the gift of Joy is not on back order this Christmas?    

Mary Christmas!!

Pastor Scott

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