Michel: Reflecting on the 1st Christmas

Published 4:30 am Saturday, December 14, 2019

“You might be Mary!” my granddaughter Olivia told her sister Charlie as she was getting ready to go to Wee Care.

“Don’t get my hopes up,” Charlie said. “I might be the donkey like Blakely was last year.”

And I must say that her cousin Blakely was the prettiest little donkey that I ever did see.

Charlie did get picked to play Mary and I’ve had the privilege to watch her practice, which causes me to reflect on that first Christmas.

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. The Word inside of her caused her to grow, but not just physically. He changed her plans and challenged the thinking of those with around her.

A few months later 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 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.

When 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? 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.