Since the Christmas season is here again, my church’s choir performed its annual Christmas cantata. Every year Jesus’ birth is the center focus, but the themes of music and drama vary. This year’s cantata was titled “Breath of Heaven” and reminisced the story of Jesus’ birth from Mary’s point of view. Many Christians place Mary on a pedestal, imagining her with halo intact and awe-inspiring music playing in the background. She is the uber God-follower–a picture of complete perfection. What we’ve forgotten is how the Lord said, “There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10) Not even sweet, virgin Mary. Gasp! In fact, most of the women God used in His Word were people with tainted pasts. Some were even harlots! We forget that Mary was probably not all too different from us. She may have struggled with insecurities and doubts over the monumental task God had assigned her–raising the Son of God as her own child. Can you imagine?! These lyrics portraying Mary’s thoughts in the song “Breath of Heaven” may be more true than we realize:
Wow! These words speak volumes to me. There Mary was, just a young, inexperienced girl, being called by God to a mind-blowing, life altering responsibility, proving once again that God doesn’t call the proficient. He calls the willing! I don’t know about you, friend, but I find myself often asking God why in the world would He want to use me. For anything. Ever. Doesn’t He know who I am and what my capabilities are . . . or more importantly the lack thereof? The crazy part is, He does! And He doesn’t care a bit. In fact, He relishes in our weaknesses because that is exactly where His strength shines the greatest!
Here’s the truth. Mary isn’t the important part of the Christmas Story no matter how much hype religion places on her. She was simply a vessel used by God to show off the splendor of His own perfect Son. Jesus will always shine the brightest in this story and in each and every story of our own lives. He will never take second place to our talents, strengths, or righteousness.
This Christmas I hope you’ll join me in seeing past the nativity with Mary, Joseph, wise men, and shepherds aligned in a row because ultimately they are not the important part of this season. Only Jesus is. He alone is worthy of all our praise this Christmas!