In the midst of all the busyness and festivity of Christmas, the one thing I enjoy more than any other is setting up my nativity scene.  For as long as I can remember, the people in the nativity scene have fascinated me.  As a child, I played with the nativity and re-enacted the story over and over.  Now, my treasured Precious Moments nativity set takes a place of honor on our mantel throughout December.  No matter how preoccupied I might be with my long Christmas to-do list, my thoughts always quiet down and peace reigns when I’m reflecting on the nativity.  I feel like I’m standing right there with Mary and Joseph, marveling at the sight of our living Savior.  I take a moment to walk in Mary’s shoes and my attitude softens.

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered.  “May it be to me as you have said.”  Luke 1:38

The humility and obedience in her response never is lost on me.  God asked her to do something that would ruin her reputation and make her a social pariah, yet she agreed with complete faith to follow His lead.  I think this one verse in the Bible convicts me more than any other.  I am in awe of her willingness to completely allow God to chart the course of her life.  I want to be like Mary.

In addition to being the Christmas season, December is also a time of anxious waiting for our seniors.  Hope and nerves mingle together as the students realize the course of the next four years is on the verge of being revealed. They vacillate between feeling hopeful that this course will be wonderful and feeling anxious that it will be something other than they first envisioned.

It’s the perfect time to reflect on Mary.  She had a picture for her life too – she was about to be married and build an adult life with Joseph, a man of strong character who showed great promise of being a loyal and worthy husband.  She was going to have the white picket fence and 2.5 children (okay, she probably didn’t picture the ideal life quite like that…) and would live happily ever after.  Then Gabriel appeared and informed her that God had another plan in mind.  She asked one simple question about logistics and then agreed, just like that, to do anything God asked.

As you decorate your home for the Christmas season and display your nativity set in a place of honor, spend a few moments asking God to develop Mary’s attitude in you and your family.  Whatever God has in mind for your life, regarding college plans or any number of other things, pray that you will respond as Mary did and allow God to chart the course.  “I am the Lord’s servant.  May it be to me as you have said.”

Merry Christmas!


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