What is your favorite thing about Christmas? Family. Tradition. Winter. Gifts and giving. Joy and music. Church and friends. Whatever your favorites, we need to remember that we are a blessed people. Blessings come because we serve a great God. He is able to care for us, guide us and to provide even when we don't see the possibilities.
A story like that provides our 1st Christmas Fav of the day. (Drum roll please) It is Mary, the mother of Jesus. What an awesome lady! Read on:
(verses taken from Luke 1 of the New Living Translation of the Bible)
28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, "Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!" 29 Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. 30 "Don't be afraid, Mary," the angel told her, "for you have found favor with God!
That is just the start. What do we learn about this young girl? God chose her. She was blessed because she knew God and believed God. What a testimony! What an example to follow! Read on:
38 Mary responded, "I am the Lord's servant. May everything you have said about me come true." And then the angel left her... 49 For the Mighty One is holy,and he has done great things for me.
Can you imagine what all this young girl went through? Marriage. A baby. The baby being God in the flesh. Too much and I am sure filled with stress, but so good because of what God would bring to all of us through her.
The last Christmas Fav of the day, and I cannot say enough about them, are my parents. They've put up with so much. They have given and given and given more. Often the trek the 1,000+ miles to our home and share with us more. I remember as a kid the good times of Christmas. The special presents but mostly the family times. I am still a bit anal about something they taught me. We have to pass out all the presents on Christmas day and open them one at a time. I love that. It is important to me, but some people, including my wife, cannot handle that. Oh well.
I am so thankful for family. My parents (and I get to see them next week) are pictures for God's best, they have shown me God through their lives and their love. But most of all we have lived life learning together. Christmas gets us together, reminds us of the blessings and points us all back to God. That is what Christmas Favs are all about.
Matthew 1:23 (nlt) --- "Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means 'God is with us.'"