Michel: First Christmas produced greatest gift ever given

Published 12:06 am Saturday, December 17, 2016

I have one gift under my tree. One. And I just ordered two more bringing the grand total to three.

I am a last-minute shopper who wants to finish her Christmas shopping long before flipping the calendar to December, but I don’t think I’ll ever change.

Another thing that will never change is the Christmas story, and it’s one I never grow tired of.

Life must have looked pretty good to Mary before the angel’s visit. Her engagement to Joseph was likely the fulfillment of her dream.

Then the Holy Spirit surrounded her, the power of God overshadowed her and Jesus, the Word in flesh, was implanted in her.

Her dream was about to take on incredible new dimensions. The Word inside of her caused her to grow, but not just physically.

He changed her plans and challenged the thinking of those with whom she was in contact. A few months later, while most of the world was sleeping, she brought forth Life when Jesus, the Light of the world, was humbly born in a stable.

The One Who had already changed her was about to shake the community and eventually the world.

Although the story of Jesus’ life on earth begins with Christmas, it doesn’t end there.

He didn’t remain in the manger.

Jesus grew and led a sinless life as He taught, healed and loved. He then became the ultimate sacrifice when He willingly died on the cross for our sins.

Every time I reflect on the first Christmas, I am challenged. Have I made room in my heart for Jesus?

Will I allow Him to change me, enlarge my vision and challenge my thoughts? And do the people around me know about that first Christmas?

Just as in the time of Mary, there are many people today living good lives, dreaming good dreams and making common sense plans.

But do they know the entire Christmas story of the greatest gift?

Ronny Michel may be reached at rmichel@rtconline.com.