The Christmas story is one many of us have probably heard over and over: An angel comes to a virgin to tell her she will bear a son that will be the Son of God, the hope of the world.
So what does that mean for us today? What can we rediscover in this story that can change the way we celebrate now?
This Advent season, our community gathered to share what strikes them in the Christmas story. We hope it offers something new as you reflect on the birth of Christ.
Read all the reflections below and watch them on our Instagram page.
Jesus As An Outsider with Nathaniel Wynans
Jesus was an outsider. Born outside the city walls, it’s a rhythm that happens throughout His life and an important part of his teaching. He sought out those who were outsiders to let them know they were seen and loved.
The shepherds were also outsiders, brought into the intimate story of Jesus’ birth. And when they heard that the Lord had come, they had to tell everyone. Are we moved by the news of baby Jesus? How can we reach those on the outskirts and bring them hope this Christmas?
The Character of Joseph with Eric Chow
Joseph, the behind the scenes hero of the Christmas story. A caring husband, protective father, practical provider, and an identity built into reliance on God. Have you ever thought about what would have been going on in Joseph’s heart and mind amidst all the events around the birth of Jesus? Even in the most unlikely and probably difficult circumstances, he was faithful to God and dedicated to those he loved. A true man of character willing to give of himself. What can we learn from him this year?
The Simplicity of the Nativity with Risa McCormack
The first Christmas was very simple. Joseph was unable to offer his family nothing more than straw and a simple barn. There were no decorations or sweets. Risa shares her reflection on how God's shown her the simplicity of this season; His humanity and humility revealed in a manger. It reminds us to focus on more meaningful and intentional living this Christmas and not get bogged down by cultural wants encouraging us to also think about what in our advent preparations can be simplified to help direct your focus more on Christ.
The Expectations of Mary with Nicole Padley
"Mary was a new mother... I'm sure she had expectations, and yet, things didn't go as she had expected, they didn't go as she had planned." Nicole gives us a beautiful insight into the heart of Mary and her graceful acceptance of unlikely circumstances, believing the Lord would fulfill His promises. What expectations are we holding onto this year? How can we enter into the invitation of trust from God?
Searching For the Light with Laura de Fleuriot
My 3rd child, a son, was born just under two months ago and it struck me since his birth is how he intuitively searches for the light. Whether it is a window, the tree lights or the muted lights of a middle of the night feed he is captivated by light. He is captivating to watch as he locks his eyes with the light when he finds it. Jesus himself becoming a man would have modelled this search for light as a baby. The Light of the World searched with his own newborn eyes for the warmth and glow of light. We need this practice, to actively search for hope in our dark world. It is always present and promised.
You can watch all these reflections on our Instagram page here >>