Summary: The perspective of Mary is completely changed by the messenger from God.
Are you talking to me?
A college freshman wrote a letter to her parents after her second semester away from home. And it said,
Dear Mom and Dad,
Just thought I’d drop you a note to clue you in on my plans. I’ve fallen in love with a guy called Jim. He quit high school after grade eleven to get married. About a year ago he got a divorce. We’ve been going steady for two months and plan to get married in the fall. Until then, I’ve decided to move into his apartment (I think I might be pregnant). At any rate, I dropped out of school last week, although I’d like to finish college sometime in the future.
(On the next page the letter continued)
Mom and Dad, I just want you to know that everything I’ve written so far in this letter is false. NONE of it is true. But, Mom and Dad, it IS true that I got a C- in French and flunked my math class… and it IS true that I’m going to need some more money for my tuition payments.
This story illustrates how a change of perspective can be very helpful in finding proper meaning and view of a situation.
Perspective influences our actions, our reactions and sometimes even our lack of action.
Your perspective is shaped by the circumstances you are in, the experiences you’ve had in the past, and who you perceive yourself to be.
As we approach the Christmas season year after year each one of us have different perspectives on what Christmas is all about. To a large extent – year after year – our perspective of Christmas risks being affected more and more by what we see in our culture.
What is valuable and important is absorbed simply by exposure less than by choice.
For the majority of Americans, I believe that Christmas is about stuff and has almost no connection to God. And we are exposed to that worldview like hearing elevator music. It is there and it plays and we hum along without realizing what has happened or how that song or view got into our mind.
If my opinion is correct. I have a simple question, what is our culture celebrating at Christmas?
Is it a simple celebration a particular date range to spend savings or to show our feeling for our family and friends by giving presents?
Don’t get me wrong, I like presents. I enjoy a lot of what the world enjoys.
I just don’t understand the Christmas event without any connection to the original reason for the season.
For our culture the big news stories during the season are concerned about how important the day after thanksgiving and cyber Monday are for our economy.
-- Yes, I give my family gifts to help the economy, that warms my heart.
The Christmas Story is replaced by the importance of the Christmas Store.
Doing the right thing is about the economy and making ourselves feel good until the batteries wear out and the payments come due. Sometimes that “spirit of giving” flows over into extra giving for toys for tots or angle tree. Kids always can grab our hearts and after all it is only once a year….like the same kids don’t have needs in the other 11 months.
The worldly perspective is not void of doing real good and making a real difference, it is just limited in how far and how long it will go. The worldly Christmas perspective is starting to burn now, wither Christians or not, but will almost completely die right after January 1st.
But how do we (Christians) keep a "right" or “more lasting” perspective on Christmas and the Christmas Story when we have so much that influences us otherwise?
-- Today and for the next few weeks I want you to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes or at least look through their eyes at the situation. I want you to purposefully try to find a way to look at the Christmas story with a biblical character’s perspective.
So, today we are going to look at Mary’s perspective of the very beginning of the Christmas story. It comes from Luke 1:26-40 and I will only be quoting small sections. I hope you will read the whole section for yourself.
We will start with a video clip first which will hopefully establish the situation before the scripture we are using today.
----- CLIP CLIP CLIP Betrothal
When Luke opens his gospel, he starts with the story of Zachariah and the coming of John the Baptist.
By the time we get to Verse 26, Joseph and Mary are already betrothed, Married. We don’t know how she felt about the situation but we have no reason to think she was unhappy. So her original perspective is that of a girl coming of age and heading for a normal, and as safe as anyone can expect life.