Power of Christmas to Change

The very first Christmas—some twenty centuries ago—is a revolutionary event.

Consider the extraordinary changes that occur around the ordinary birth of a not-so-ordinary baby.

First, consider the change in Mary. Mary is a teenage girl, the daughter of a peasant farmer. Mary is engaged to be married to a man, who is a carpenter by trade. Mary is looking forward to an ordinary life as the ordinary wife of the town carpenter.

What happens? An angel visits Mary. The angel explains to Mary that God has chosen her to be the mother of the God-promised Messiah.

What happens to Mary? Mary is changed. Mary is transformed from a sheltered teenage girl to the venerable mother of the Messiah, promised by God.

Second, consider the change in Joseph. Joseph is the much-older husband-to-be. He is a respected wood-worker in town. When Joseph learns, before they are married, that Mary is “with child”–and he is not the father—what does Joseph want to do? Joseph wants to break off the engagement. Joseph wants get out of town so as to avoid shaming Mary or embarrassing himself.

What happens? An angel visits Joseph. The angel explains to Joseph that the child whom Mary bears is the God-promised Messiah.

What happens to Joseph? Joseph is changed. Joseph is transformed from a fearful fiance to a faithful spouse.

Third, consider the change in nearby shepherds. One night, shepherds are minding their own business and their sheep’s business…when suddenly a very bright light shatters their darkness. And the shepherds are
paralyzed with fright.

What happens? An angel visits the shepherds. The angel explains to the shepherds that the God-promised
Messiah has just been born less than a mile away. The angel urges the shepherds to go see the new-born Messiah for themselves.

What happens to the shepherds? The shepherds are changed. The shepherds are transformed from terrified spectators to amazed witnesses.

The first Christmas is a revolutionary event. The power of Christmas to change is extraordinary. Consider this story.

It was Christmas night. A little lamb had nothing to give the tiny Christ Child who shared its stable. Then the lamb noticed that the Baby’s blankets were thin. The straw upon which the Baby lay offered little warmth. So, the lamb quietly snuggled close to the Christ Child and sheltered him from the cold.

The Christ Child smiled. He reached out and touched the lamb’s shaggy coat…whereupon it was transformed into soft, curly wool.

From that day forward, all sheep wear the warm symbol of Christ’s gratitude for the selfless action of one small lamb…on that first Christmas night.

*****

The first Christmas is revolutionary. The God-promised Messiah is born to change the hearts, the minds and the lives of humankind…forever.

May you be changed by the power of Christmas. May you be transformed– from
fretful to peaceful,
from materialistic to spiritual,
from selfish to generous.

The power of Christmas to change…is extraordinary.

Beside you in the journey of faith,
Rev. Barbara