If you read Matthew 1 and Luke 1-2, you see a young woman, not divine or different from other very young women and probably, as history tells us, a young teen.
The Bible tells us very little about the mother of Jesus, except through Matthew and Luke. These passages do reveal how dramatically changed was Mary's life as she carried and gave birth to the Son of God, Jesus Christ, the Savior promised and first mentioned in Genesis 3:15.
Can you imagine her thoughts, her heart as she first encountered the angel who appeared to her? Can you imagine as she first talked with Joseph, her betrothed and intended husband? Can you imagine that night when she gave birth, when a bright star appeared, angels sang, and shepherds came? How full of joy her heart must have been.
She was chosen to be the mother of Jesus, but we as women of God, we are chosen as Christ- followers to go into all the world, beginning here in Hilltop because Christ commanded us to do so. What joy we have, how full are our hearts when we let our light shine, when we serve God. Here at the Chapel there are so many ways to shine through prayer group, Bible Study, missions, Care team, Sunday School, and living as godly women at work and at home.
Let me share a story with you that happened when we lived in Bossier City. Dave and I worked in Bus Ministry, a Saturday/Sunday program called Christ Kids University. On a chilly Sunday morning, one of the bus drivers brought a screaming and kicking little third grader tearing pages out of his Bible to me and sat the little guy in my lap. His mother’s boyfriend had beaten the young boy called Anthony earlier in the morning. Anthony settled down as we began to talk about Jesus with the children. Anthony came every Saturday and Sunday after that, and his bus driver bought him high top red tennis shoes for his Christmas present. Anthony wore them to church until he finally outgrew them. Collectively, our group prayed for Anthony, gave him hugs, fed him, taught him, and visited in his home (a small frame house with newspaper for wallpaper).
We moved away and I lost contact with Anthony. A friend called to tell me he had asked Jesus into his heart as well as his mom, and they were both baptized. Many years later my daughter ran into Anthony, now called Tony. He is now a bi-vocational pastor and Bossier City policeman. Many people touched his life at our church, some in big ways and some in the smallest gestures, like a smile or hug. This young man found Jesus because a group of people let their light shine brightly. Their love of their Lord and Savior was realized in their service, their Christ-like living.
For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders and he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and it's peace will never end. Isaiah 9: 6-7.
For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light . Ephesians 5:8
Just as the glitter on packages shines we must shine. Carry the joy and excitement of this Celebration of the Christ Child forward into the New Year. Serve the Lord with gladness!