When I woke up early this morning, I rose out of bed with my eyes cracked not quite ready to conquer the day and stumbled into the bathroom. As I gazed into that little messy mirror, my hair was disheveled, there were remnants of last night's mascara smeared beneath my eyes, and a lingering fever blister on my upper lip-- one my Nana even noticed through FaceTime last week. Not only was my mirror a mess, but the reflection in that mirror looked messier.
It's Christmas Eve and we are just hours away from celebrating the greatest birth story in the history of birth stories.
There they were --Joseph and Mary -- young, and in love, sinners who would raise the sinless One. Mary risked a lot by saying yes to God. If you haven't already walked this out in your own life, then let me tell you that submission to God's will always involve risks. She risked her life, her reputation, and even her relationship with Joseph.
I can relate to Mary, not because I've birthed a Savior, but because I've wrestled with the words of man over the voice of God. What will they say? What will they do? Will they think I'm crazy? Will they think I'm a liar? I get you Mary. As a 4 on the enneagram, I'm currently over here wiping my teary eyes.
I think it's safe to say Mary deserves a hand clap of praise for her words in Luke 1:38, "And Mary said, 'Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.' And the angel departed from her."
Thank you, Mary, for your obedience despite the potential ramifications of men. Thank you for trusting an unknown future to a known God! I love what A.W. Tozer says, "While it looks like things are out of control, behind the scenes there is a God who hasn't surrendered his authority!"
Thank you for looking into your messy mirror and not bearing the image of what you saw, but instead wiping it off and seeing the reflection of the One who would turn your mess into a message. Your yes made way for the One who changed the course of history for all mankind.
Joseph, you are equally deserving of praise. Thank you for being godly and gracious. Thank you for walking in wisdom and considering Mary. God saw your torn heart--as you were "unwilling to put her to shame, and resolved to divorce her quietly" Matthew 1:19.
Thank you for leaning into God's grace despite your fleshly feelings. Thank you for being open to hear from God himself albeit through a dream. Thank you that in spite of the naysayers, who would talk unaware of The Truth, you believed and trusted the angel of the Lord.
Thank you, Joseph and Mary, for believing and trusting one another. Your mirrors were a mess. No doubt. Your journey was daunting--physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Your birth story was even messy, but that One messy baby changed everything! The GREAT news: a baby changes our lives!
Thank you, God, for choosing two very ordinary sinners to usher in the Savior of the World!
So, as we cuddle by the fire in our comfy Christmas jammies, watching Christmas movies while sipping hot cocoa filled to the brim with marshmallows and cool whip, may you understand the weight of this story. Jesus came to wipe our messy mirrors so that we would bear the image of redemption, wholeness, completeness, and hope. We no longer have to wake up to the reality of a messy mirror, not when over 2,000 years ago there was a baby born in a humble, messy place to redeem mankind. The reflection we get to see today is forgiveness and freedom.
Accept it, believe it, and receive it. Merry CHRISTmas, friends!