by Rachel Sinclair
When thinking back on Christmas as a child, my favorite memories center around the “Krazy Kuzins” nativity play.
As the eldest and bossiest cousin, I was the self-appointed director for this show in my grandparents’ living room. My Nana made costumes out of old bathrobes and dollar store headbands, and I wrote the script and shouted stage directions.
The very best Christmas play was 2007, right after our fifth cousin Parker was born. For the first time in Krazy Kuzin history, WE HAD A BABY JESUS! A real, live, baby Jesus! I was thrilled. However, I knew we only had one shot at the perfect Christmas play. Next year Parker would be too big to play Jesus, and we’d be right back to using a baby doll.
To our delight, Parker was perfect, sitting quietly in his carseat that doubled as a manger. The sweetest scene was when Katie, my then 10-year-old cousin playing Mary, scooped Parker into her arms and sang.
It was one of those moments that seemed to transcend time and place. We already adored Parker, but watching his tiny, precious face peek out of the “swaddling cloths” left us in awe. He was so small, vulnerable, and dependent, yet he was an invaluable, incredible blessing to our family.
I can’t help but think about how much more Mary was filled with wonder when she gazed into the face of Jesus that night in Bethlehem.
From the very beginning of her pregnancy, Mary knew her Son was special. She humbly accepted the angel Gabriel’s news that she would carry God’s child, and she rejoiced with her cousin Elizabeth over the work God would accomplish through her family.
But here’s what amazes me: Mary didn’t need to understand all the details of God’s plan in order to trust and worship Him. She knew Jesus was blessed by God, but she probably didn’t realize that He would carry out God’s redemptive plan for the entire world. Perhaps she thought Jesus might grow up and become a prophet, but she couldn’t have explained how He would fulfill all Messianic prophecies throughout the Jewish Scriptures.
Even while facing societal shame of being an unwed young woman, even while her future was uncertain, Mary praised God. She said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,” (Luke 1:46b-47).
Despite her lack of knowledge, Mary trusted God, and that was enough. She believed in His sovereignty and marvelled at His goodness. She didn’t need a thorough explanation to rejoice at God’s glory at work in her life.
When shepherds showed up at the manger, likely sharing stories of angels appearing in a field, Mary “was treasuring up all these things in her heart and meditating on them” (Luke 2:19). She could marvel at God’s miraculous ways, unfolding in His own unique time.
What is stopping you from running to Jesus and worshipping Him with all of your heart? So often I get bogged down in the weeds of fear, uncertainty, and a lack of understanding. God doesn’t promise we will understand His plan or that we will never feel afraid. He does promise that He is good, His word is truth, and He will never leave His children.
This Christmas, remember the pure joy that comes from worshipping Jesus, our Savior, without holding back. “Wonder” at Christ, rejoicing in his holiness and mystery. Think about God’s incredible generosity and love, as He let go of His only Son and sent Him to earth so that we could be reconciled to Him. Jesus is the ultimate gift to the world.
I pray that God would give us a faithful spirit like Mary, that we might also worship Jesus in wonder with our whole hearts. As the classic Christmas hymn says, “O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.”
Rachel Sinclair believes that your “best life” is the one God has for you, and she wants to help you find it! Connect with Rachel through her blog, podcast, and Instagram.