December 24, 2020

What Does It Take to Celebrate?

Luke 1:26-38

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.”

—  Luke 1:38

Some years ago, a Christmas musical included Mary saying, “If the Lord has spoken, I must do as he commands. I will put my life into his hands. I will trust him with my life.”

That was Mary’s response to the surprise announcement that she would be the mother of the Son of God. Whatever the consequences, she was able to say, “May your word to me be fulfilled.”

Mary was ready to surrender her life to the Lord, even if it meant that she might be disgraced in the eyes of everyone who knew her. And because she trusted the Lord with her life, she became the mother of Jesus and could celebrate the coming of the Savior. Mary took God at his word, accepted God’s will for her life, and placed herself in God’s hands.

That’s what it takes to truly celebrate Christmas: to believe what is completely unbelievable to many people, to accept God’s will for our lives, and to place ourselves in God’s service, trusting that our lives are in his hands. Only then will we be able to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.

Ask the Holy Spirit today to help you trust God with your life and to turn the controls of your life over to him. When you do, your life will never be the same.

Lord, our God, please give us faith to believe that the child we celebrate on Christmas is your Son, our Savior. Help us to acknowledge him as Lord and to trust him with our lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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