I know you may think why am I sharing about Christmas today, but actually the 7th of January is the Orthodox Christmas, so I’m not that late. 🙂
It’s awesome how you find spiritual meanings in bible stories. Those who read the Bible with their hearts try hard to learn something new from a simple passage, dig deeper, and search new meanings, because they are sure that God’s wisdom is far more than the simple meaning that jumps out of the passage first.
Underlying the story of the nativity is a beautiful lesson for all of us serving the Lord … It’s not actually my personal reflection, but I heard it in a sermon and I couldn’t but share it:
When Jesus was born there were 4 characters around him, each symbolizes a certain trait or characteristic we should have as servants for Jesus to be born in the hearts of others:
The believer; she believed God could come and dwell in her humble body. We should believe that God could work in those who don’t know Jesus, or seem like the least probable that God would work in. We make our God a limited God, if we see that lost people (can’t find a better word) as an impossible task for God.
The coverer (if there is such a word); he found Mary’s belly growing, but instead of facing her or going to the priest and making a big deal out of it, he covered up for her and tried to send her away secretly without manifesting her “sin”. Same with us; if we know how bad people are, and know their sins, we should cover up for them and not worsen their image in front of others. In fact, covering up for people’s faults shows REAL LOVE, and has brought more people to Jesus. “Love covers all sins” (Proverbs 10:12)
The keepers or the guards. If we are real servants we should be our brothers keepers’. Remember Cain; the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:9). Remember what God said to Ezekiel that the blood of your brother will be your responsibility if you don’t guard him and guide him; “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me: When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.” (Ezekiel 3:17-21). Back to the shepherds at the time of the nativity, the bible says, they were (1) awake in the night, (2) were guarding, and (3) were in the desert.
We should remember these 3 traits of being good shepherds:
- Pray; awake in the night usually refers to prayer (Matthew 26:41)
- Guard; it’s our responsibility.
- In the desert; we should serve even when not in our comfort zone.
We could take Paul as a role-model when he said “Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.” (Acts 20:31)
The wise men
The researchers. It is very strange how the wise men knew about Christ’s birth; they saw a star, then they linked the star’s appearance with prophecies they had been told about by previous generations. It is said that these prophecies were told by Daniel at the time of captivity, but anyways, these people although not Jews left their countries and walked a two-year walk just to go worship baby Jesus. There are two kinds of people, those who see the star, but don’t know the prophecies, and those who know the prophecies, but can’t see the star. As servants, we should be able to show others the star, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16), and also show the prophecies “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15). This way people would easily do the two-year walk, however much it may seem difficult or full of obstacles.