One of my favorite Christmas stories was the magical life of Frosty the Snowman. I thought about that story a lot as a child; I imagined how awesome it would be if the snowman I built would come alive and be my best friend throughout the winter. If I woke up one morning to find that Frosty had come alive in my backyard, I would be in complete amazement; it would be hard to truly realize the amazing thing that had happened.
In reality, what the angel told Mary would happen that first Christmas morning was more astonishing than Frosty could ever be. Mary was told that, even though she was a virgin, she would become pregnant with a child and that this child would be the Son of God. Mary was told that this child was the promised Savior who would rule over heaven and earth. Can you imagine the thoughts that might have run through her mind? She was going to be pregnant even though she was not yet married; what would everyone in town think? She was going to be the mother of the Christ child, the Son of God; what if the child fell and scraped His knee, what if she lost her temper with Jesus? Can you imagine the burden of caring for God’s only Son, who was God Himself? Mary knew her own sinfulness; who was she to be chosen to care for Jesus?
That last thought we should truly ponder ourselves; who are we that Jesus should come to be our Savior? We are sinners who have disobeyed God throughout our lives. Being Christians actually makes matters worse; we know God’s Word, we know what God demands of us, and yet we still fall into sin. We know that the wages of sin is death, and we smugly think at times that God will just have to forgive us no matter what we do. Who are we that God should come to save us?
Of all the worries and concerns and feelings of unworthiness that may have run through Mary’s mind, there is one thought that we know Mary pondered greatly: she was giving birth to the Savior, the one who would take away her sins and the sins of her family and even the sins of the entire world. Reading Mary’s song in Luke 1:46–55 gives us a glimpse of the joy in her heart as she carried her Lord and her Savior.
Mary would have no idea of exactly everything that was going to happen over the years as Jesus won the world’s salvation. We are blessed to have God’s Word in our hands so that we can read and ponder all that Jesus did for us. He lived a perfect life in our place to cover up our failings. He went to the cross to suffer the just punishment for our sins so that all the times we have disobeyed God would be paid for and completely forgiven. Jesus died and rose again to life so that all who believe in Him can rejoice that their place with Him is secured.
I thought a lot about Christmas miracles as a child; but a Christmas miracle really did happen. The impossible happened as God was born in the manger, not just to be our friend, but to be our Savior. God has given us the full counsel of His Word to sustain our faith. We ponder on the Law and our sins, and God leads us to repent. We ponder on Christ’s sacrifice and rejoice that by faith alone we have eternal life.
Reverend James Kassera
Our Savior’s Lutheran Church
Albert Lea, MN