“The most beautiful things are always hidden.” – Ainesh Suthar
“There is in all visible things a hidden wholeness.” – Thomas Merton
With Christmas fast approaching, I wanted to share a few things about the Christmas story that often go unnoticed – hidden truths that we tend to overlook or pass us by without much thought.
This year as you hear the story once more, I hope you take some time to think deeper about the parts of it that can be easily lost or missed.
Nothing is Impossible
“For nothing is impossible with God” – Luke 1:37
When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her she would give birth to the Son of God, she asked how this could happen being a virgin (Luke 1:34). Gabriel’s answer to her question seems hidden within the Christmas story – an aspect of it that often goes unnoticed.
But when you think about the story in its entirety, this six word summation says it all! We see a God working behind the scenes – directing a plan that would change the destiny of mankind forever.
Maybe this Christmas you need a miracle. Think of all the miracles that took place on that holiest of nights so long ago! A lowly, humble birth in a stable, a guiding star, a birth announcement in the form of a heavenly host, and dreams filled with guidance, warnings, and comfort. Evil plans thwarted and God’s intended plans fulfilled 🙂
This Christmas, my friend, realize that nothing is outside of God’s reach. He knows your dreams, he knows your heart, and NOTHING is impossible!
Integrity, Deep Love, and Trust
Maybe as a man, I tend to look at the story of Joseph in a special way. I think about how excited he must have been to be engaged to such a wonderful woman as Mary. I can imagine he had planned for quite some time about all that would unfold once they were married – their home where they would live, the children they would have, and all the happiness that was soon to be a part of their lives.
But then to find out she was pregnant! How? Was she not the kind of woman he thought she was? Given this development, how could he go through with the wedding any longer? He must have felt betrayed. His world must have felt as if it was crashing down in front of him!
We know he was visited by an angel – given understanding about all that was transpiring. Still, he could have opted out – believing it was all a bad dream and running the opposite direction. But he didn’t 🙂
He chose integrity, deep love, and trust instead. He loved Mary so much, that he didn’t care what others thought of him as he took this pregnant woman to be his wife. He chose chastity over his own desires – honoring her and trusting God in the process. He chose a difficult begin – a difficult life – one he didn’t anticipate. To be a part of a plan that would impact the world, he had to give up his own.
What this Christmas is calling out to you – asking you to love deeper, trust more, and to act with greater integrity within the lives of those you love and cherish?
Joseph is my Christmas story hero! His sacrifice is often forgotten and hidden within the larger scheme of all that was unfolding at the time. I hope this year, you think of him, the role he played, and like me, long to live a life of integrity, love, and trust in the wake of his example.
God’s Direction and Guidance
Throughout the Christmas story, you can see a God who is at work – guiding, directing, and making His plans known. He used angels, dreams, and stars – a hard-hearted king, a perfectly timed census, and “no more room in the inn” to ensure that all transpired according to what was foretold.
Everything had a purpose – a pre-determined methodology to guarantee that all would work according to His will.
Realize this Christmas that God will do anything necessary to ensure His plans for your life are fulfilled. Divine timing is a part of your life. Angels are strengthening, guiding, and helping you see the way in which you should go. He can use people, events, and circumstances – even the evening sky to give you direction and clarity.
This Christmas, see Him as He is working out His plans for the birth of His Son – a loving plan of atonement for “peace on earth – goodwill toward men”. Remember that you too are His child! Rest assured that He is working out His plans for you my friend – plans that have love at the very center of them!
The Last are First and the First are Last
“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night….” – Luke 2:8 NIV
Shepherds were the lowest class of people in those days – yet God chose them to be the FIRST to hear the “good news of great joy for all people.” The Son of God wasn’t born in a palace, wrapped in silk linen and given the best of things at birth. He was born in a dirty stable, wrapped in cloths, and had a feeding trough for animals as His first bed. The King of Kings, who should have entered this world in glory, entered this world LAST – in the most impoverished and lowly of states.
This wasn’t by accident. It is part of the story to make us realize that Immanuel (God with us) truly KNOWS us and has lived a life like us 🙂 This humility symbolizes a God who has come to earth lowering Himself to know us fully, to save us, and to eventually bring us back to Him.
This Christmas, if you feel low, insignificant, and made to feel last by others – know that God connects with how you feel 🙂 Immanuel is “with you”! He understands your pain, your issues, and your circumstances in the most intimate of ways. If you feel like you are LAST – know that God sees you as FIRST!
This Christmas, instead of reading or recalling the more infamous aspects of the story, I hope you think deeply about parts of the Christmas story that are hidden from our view but equally important.
I hope you see a God who is in control – guiding, directing, and using any means necessary to enact His will and His plan. Likewise, He is in control of His plans for you this Christmas!
I pray that you focus more on Joseph this year – the least popular character of the story. See how important his trust, integrity, and deep love for Mary was so vital to the Christmas story – making a decision to embrace those characteristics yourself this holiday with those you love and cherish.
If you are feeling low – feeling LAST this year, know that in God’s eyes, you are FIRST! Believe with all your heart that NOTHING is impossible for Him! See within the Christmas story how the improbable and the unviable were no obstacle for God. See the miracles that took place and know that miracles are possible for you 🙂
“It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him.” – Daniel 2:22 NIV
May each and every one of you have a blessed Christmas this year!