Read Luke 1:26-38.
I've often wondered what Mary and Joseph would say about Christmas. I imagine that if I had the opportunity to interview Mary, she might say, "I will always remember the agony, pain, and bewilderment of being pregnant when I had not been with a man." She would probably tell me, "In the midst of this hurt, I remember the comfort that came when the angel Gabriel spoke to me and told me that, of all the women of Israel, I was privileged to carry the Messiah."
The most important person we need to ask about the meaning of Christmas is the one who is always forgotten at Christmastime.
Mary might also share about her visit to the home of her cousin Elizabeth and how John the Baptist leapt in his mother's womb at the sound of her voice. She might explain in detail the shepherds' visit on the night Jesus was born. She might describe the three astronomers from Persia and the gifts they brought her Son. I imagine she would tear up while recounting the terror that spread throughout Bethlehem when King Herod sent soldiers to massacre all those innocent babies. She would tell me about how she and Joseph and the baby Jesus had to escape under cover of night and travel all the way to Egypt.
But what about Joseph? He might say, "Well, I can't forget the incredibly painful days of struggle, wanting to quietly break my betrothal to Mary." He might tell me about the deep anguish and confusion he felt—how he knew Mary's purity and yet discovered she was pregnant. One question plagued his mind for days on end: "How do I explain this to people?" But I'm sure Joseph, too, would tell me all about the joy of receiving God's assurance from an angel—how the hopes and dreams of all Israel were about to come true, how he and Mary were blessed to be instruments of God in the most important chapter of human history.
But in the final analysis, the most important person we need to ask about the meaning of Christmas is the one who is always forgotten at Christmastime. We see Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and the magi. We talk about them, but then we leave out the most important person—failing to ask the question: "Jesus, what does this first Christmas mean to You?"
Before too much of the Christmas season passes by, take time to consider Jesus' heart on the matter. Seek Him as the shepherds did. Bow down before Him as the wise men did. But most of all, welcome Him into your life, as Mary and Joseph did.
Prayer: Jesus, as I read the Scriptures in this season, help me to see Your heart for Christmas—what it means to You. May the wonder of this season spur me to worship and to serve You, welcoming You to take control of my life. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart" (Luke 2:19).
Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon Christmas According to Jesus: LISTEN NOW