By SUE SEIBERT
It’s two days until Christmas. Christmas, a time for faith if there ever was one, a time for not seeing but knowing that something is true.
My goodness, didn’t Mary have faith! She was a very young girl, a teenager, and she was suddenly faced with something she had never seen before, the angel Gabriel. And that angel’s message to Mary was absolutely stunning. She was going to have a baby - when she had never had sex with a man, but, more stunning still, the baby she was carrying was the Son of God. Think about the teenage girls you know. How would they react? And yet, she said, “Be it unto me according to your word.”
And, Saint Anne, Mary’s mother, how did she feel when Mary went to her to tell her she was about to be a grandmother? And not just the grandmother of a normal baby, but the grandmother of God’s Baby Son. I know there are plenty of women out there whose unmarried daughters tell them, “I’m pregnant”, but this is a totally different story. Certainly, although our grandchildren are precious, none of them is God.
On top of all that, Mary was engaged to a carpenter named Joseph, and she had to explain to him that: a. she was pregnant; and, b. the father of her baby was God. I mean, would you guys believe that? Of course, Joseph could have quietly broken his engagement to Mary, but, he also had faith. He listened to God and to God’s angel, and he did what was necessary to protect his wife and her Child.
Now, there was one person, well, two really, who knew about Mary’s pregnancy and Jesus’ birth. Mary’s cousin Elizabeth and her husband, Zachariah, had just experienced God’s miracle in their lives, and although they were quite old, and she was past the age to bear children, she became pregnant with John the Baptist. For, you see, Gabriel had been busy and had brought a message to Zachariah that because of their faith and service to God, their son would be the prophet who would declare the message of the Messiah.
When Mary visited her cousin, as soon as Elizabeth opened the door to Mary and heard her voice, the baby in her womb leapt for joy, for he knew as well.
Who were these faithful people? Why, they were people just like you and me. They were ordinary folks. Mary was a teenager. Joseph was a carpenter. Elizabeth was an elderly housewife, as was her sister Anne, and Zachariah was a priest, a minister. But God chose them, and they exhibited their faith in Him, and because of their faith, and because of God’s love for His people, in two days we celebrate the birth of the Savior of the world.
Do we have faith? Well, I am human, so mostly I do, but sometimes not so much.
So what do I do about it? I pray. I attend church. I try to live God’s commandments. I endeavor to be a good example and to give to those who are less fortunate. And I truly do believe in Jesus Christ as the only true Way to salvation.
So two days from now, let’s all remind ourselves, Christmas is not about gifts we get. It’s not about Santa Claus and happy elves and stuffing ourselves silly with good food. It’s not about ball games on television. It’s not about selfishness and greed. It is about faith, hope, and love, for without faith, there is no hope or love.
Love came down at Christmas. Let’s keep that in our hearts. Have faith. God is with us always!