Mary walked down the aisle of the church, head down, as if in shame. Her bulky dress covered her slim body, and an old, ripped up sheet held in place with a green headband covered her hair. Joseph walked beside her, hesitant and proud at the same time.
When they reached the front of the small church, they stepped carefully into the bower of branches and Christmas lights and sat on the blanket-covered bench. As the angels drew near, Mary reached behind her and set a baby doll firmly between her and Joseph.
Before the program started (forty minutes late), six-year-old ‘Mary’ had buzzed around the church with boundless energy, stopping by our pew to wiggle onto our laps or ask a question before bouncing off again to interact with a classmate. I didn’t know what role she would have in the program, so when I saw her heading up the aisle with Joseph, I worried that she’d be able to pull it off.
The gamut of emotions that crossed ‘Mary’s’ face made me think about the ‘real’ Mary. Between the shy looks of embarrassment, flickers of pride flitted across her features—much like the real Mary must have felt as her growing abdomen declared to the entire village that she and Joseph had done things out of the proper order. Yet at the same time, Mary and Joseph knew, really knew, the whole story. The words of her song in the book of Luke show us this combination of humility and pride that God had chosen her—above all other women—to carry the Savior of the world for nine months.
Once seated up front, Mary stayed still the entire time—reacting to each angelic appearance, shepherd and wise person with the same regal but slightly bewildered expression. Her energy of the previous hour seemed laser-focused on doing her part and doing it right.
After the wise people left their gifts, the entire cast lined up and started singing “Joy to the World.” I hurriedly switched my camera to video mode and tried to capture the song and their expressions. Though small in size, their choir filled the church with joy and praise and beauty. Any choir of wiggling children that has work so hard to reenact the story of the greatest moment in our world’s history sounds beautiful—even if their voices strain to find the same key.
And that is the lesson of Christmas. When we try our very hardest to bring His story to the world, the results are beautiful. (tweet this)
We might think our efforts are off key, out of kilter, not perfect or far from ‘good enough.’ But what we think doesn’t matter. When we do our part to share the joy of the advent, the serenity of salvation, and the wonder of God’s love—God takes our off key and turns it into a a beautiful gift.
Inspire Me Monday Instructions
What’s your inspirational story? Link up below, and don’t forget the 1-2-3s of building community:
1. Link up your most inspirational post from the previous week (just ONE, please).
2. Vist TWO other contributors (especially the person who linked up right before you) and leave an encouraging comment.
3. Spread the cheer THREE ways! Tweet something from a post you read, share a post on your Facebook page, stumble upon it, pin it or whatever social media outlet you prefer–just do it!
Please link back to this week’s post or add the button to your post so that we can spread the inspirational cheer :).
I found inspiration for my Monday at #inspirememondays. Join us! (tweet this)