A confession, admission, whatever you want to call it: I love the Christmas season. After all, it’s the most wonderful time of year.
Many of you know I am a Hallmark Christmas movie aficionado.
One of our family Christmas traditions is to watch approximately 94 of these movies between opening night (October 25!) and Christmas Eve. We rate these movies on every aspect from the “Christmas crisis” (Can the big city girl come back home and save the local inn?) to the movie’s first kiss (does it take place in the last minute, or is this the “edgy” movie where it happens earlier?).
Need more evidence of our Christmas issues? We have four Christmas trees in our home, fully decorated. This does not count the tree on our front porch and—do not judge--our Christmas lights went up just after Halloween.
Like I said, we have issues.
But perhaps, we’re just excited about that moment when God said, in His own way, “IT’S A BOY!”
As we officially enter the Christmas season then, I’m also thinking about traditions in the life-affirming community. Here’s one: I promise that in some newsletter or appeal letter I receive, I will read that to Mary and Joseph, Jesus was an unplanned, unexpected “crisis” pregnancy.
Which, to an extent, is true.
Yet, this perception is only half true. Truly, everything here depends on perspective.
Another perspective regarding Jesus? From God’s point of view, Jesus was the most “planned” pregnancy in history.
Hundreds of years before Jesus was born, God explained through prophets that Jesus’ genealogy would come through Abraham and David. Oh, and God even gave us a birthplace, Bethlehem. Not to mention that God told us, in advance, shepherds and kings would worship Jesus, an attempt would be made on Jesus’ life, and that Jesus would live in Egypt for a time.
Planned? Yep. Foretold? That, too.
But for Mary and Joseph, “unexpected” is an understatement. Not to mention, an engaged woman carrying a child—in that day’s culture--was most certainly a crisis in every respect.
Thankfully, Mary and Joseph, after conversations with angels, gained a glimpse of God’s perspective. We know the rest. Today, we worship Jesus, who was both a crisis pregnancy, and the most planned pregnancy of all time.
And, we celebrate Jesus’ birthday each year. Do we overdo things? Ummmm, yes. Do we lose perspective? With so many commercial endeavors around us, it’s easy to do.
But for all of us in the life-affirming community, Christmas is a reminder to search for God’s point of view in every new situation which comes in our door.
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Human eyes only see the crisis. Human eyes see a young lady, alone and with no means of support, and tend to say, “Hope is lost.” Because in the world as it is, our society can be too practical to look beyond the picture in front of us and find a better future.
This young woman, seemingly stuck in poverty without a future, may become an entrepreneur, a college graduate, or a woman of faith who changes the world around her. She might be all three. She might also place her child with an adoptive couple, changing their world and generations to come. We don’t know.
But we do know that when we choose God’s perspective, the possibilities are limitless.
Joseph and Mary most definitely had a choice. They chose to see their Son as planned by God, entrusted to their care. Jesus would grow up to change the world, forever.
Every day of the year, we get to choose, too. We can see our client or patient as a crisis, or as someone with an opportunity to change the course of the future. We can see the problem, or with God’s eyes, see limitless possibilities.
We know—because we’ve seen it in our centers and homes--Christmas miracles aren’t just for Christmas. They can take place between Thanksgiving and December 25, but in the quiet of a pregnancy help ministry, a miracle can take place anytime, in any situation.
As we turn from Thanksgiving to Christmas, we thank God for a planned pregnancy more than two thousand years ago. But we also look ahead to the plans God has for us.
Looking forward then, let’s choose God’s perspective. Let’s view each client and patient as being entrusted to us by God, just like Mary and Joseph when Jesus was entrusted to them.
It’s all about perspective. And sometimes, the right perspective can change the world.