People Around the Christmas Story
By Joebert and Trixie Ramos
MARY—A Character of Submission
Although the Blessed Mary got afraid when the Angel Gabriel appeared to her on that one fateful day of her life, and even though she became perplexed at the thought of becoming pregnant without a husband yet, she entrusted herself to God and His plan. Out of a willing and trusting heart, she told the angel “I am the servant of the Lord. Let this happen to me as you say!”
God has always been in the business of changing the ordinary to extra ordinary. He did this in the life of Mary. She was known for a heart of submission to God and because of this, He was able to use her significantly. God can do this to anyone of us. He wants to change us for His glory and purposes. What it takes is a submissive heart.
For Joseph, it was tough to make the decision to marry a woman who was already pregnant, and tougher still to father a child not his own. But after the Lord appeared to him in a dream and revealed His purpose for the child who was to be the Savior of the world, Joseph surrendered with no more hesitation.
Joseph was an example of commitment to God and His purposes. He paid the cost of such commitment, no matter how high it was. How many of us can follow the example of such an obedient, righteous, responsible, caring, loyal, and a morally protective man as Joseph? We can, if we just let Him do it in us.
The SHEPHERDS—Characters of Gratitude
The Shepherds, after hearing the choral from heaven, knew how to respond properly to Good News! They did so by rejoicing as well as thanking and praising the Lord. Let us not forget that the day Jesus came to earth was the day that changed the world. Christmas time then ought to be celebrated joyfully and meaningfully. Of more significant matter now is - has Jesus come to your heart already? If He has, thank Him, praise Him, rejoice for no matter what circumstances you are facing in your life right now, having Him in your heart is all that really matters.
We believe that God gives enough men enough light that they may search for more. This happened to the Magi. Others think that the only place God can speak to people is in “church”. It was quite different for these Wise Men. God works through the many circumstances of our lives to direct our attention to him. In the case to the Magi, they were led to the Savior through the study of the stars. They then traveled up to 1000 miles on trek as that 1st star appeared - - it took them almost 2 years to locate where the Savior was. As they entered the house where Jesus and his mother Mary were, they were led to fall down before him and worshiped him. They excitedly opened their treasure chests and gave Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. He is their King, God and Savior.
The Wise Men’s greatest act was Worship – and it is still the highest form of human expression. Worship is devotion to something bigger than you, something that is eternal, powerful and trustworthy. Worship is something that belongs to God and God alone.
God does not have your treasure, time, talents although He was the one who gave them to you … He does not have them to use in this world UNLESS you give them back to Him. As we give everything back to God — Worship begins. Like the Magi, let us be wise by giving ourselves to God in worship and acknowledging that the source of our every blessing is Him.
Our Christmas Story will not be complete unless we point you to the most important character of Christmas. No, it is not Joseph nor Mary, although both of them played significant roles. It’s not the angels, nor the shepherds, nor the Magi, though their part in the greatest love story ever told taught us lessons of value. It’s not even Santa Claus, he was not even there in the Christmas scene. Let us now point you to the center of our Celebration — our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace, there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.” (The Prophet ISAIAH)
“Dear Jesus, I surrender my life to you. Forgive me for my sins. Let me be the person that you meant me to be. With you in my heart, I will obey your will and purpose for my life. Thank you, thank you for coming to save me. In your name I pray, Amen.”
“We often hear it said, “Jesus is the reason for the season.” True, but of equal truth is the realization that in his perspective, WE ARE HIS REASON for bringing this Season.”