Lesson Fifty Three
GOD’S SPECIAL MESSENGERS
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Some of you may plan to act out the Christmas story on this Christmas Day. It’s a fairly small cast so it won’t take a lot of people to make it happen. Eight should be enough. Two will play Mary and Joseph. One can be the Baby. That leaves a couple to be shepherds, and three for wisemen. Only a small number to tell the best story this planet has heard. Let’s take a moment to look at each.
Two weary parents travel to Bethlehem to find crowded streets and no place to stay. Who really knows what Mary and Joseph have faced in the past nine months as their situation became known. Outcasts? Marginalized? Criticized? Shamed? Alone they carried the burden of a pregnancy that no one really understood.
Alone they carried the burden of a pregnancy that no one really understood.
The shepherds already were considered outcasts. Their occupation put them outside the city, away from those considered better, richer, smarter, or blessed.
The wisemen had everything in the way of riches and education, but since they were foreigners, their status didn’t allow acceptance at least in this society.
Then, of course, there is the Baby, born into darkness, wrapped not in robes, but cloth, and placed not in a crib, but a manger. Not the best of beginnings.
This is what allows us to identify so much with this story, for it isn’t one of popularity and blessing, but controversy and trial.
This is what allows us to identify so much with this story, for it isn’t one of popularity and blessing, but controversy and trial. Each participant in this drama was seeking something—a bed, a Child, a King, but each, for the most part, alone in their journey traveling much of it under a dark sky. That is, with one exception. If we acted out this story on this Christmas day, even if we have an enormous extended family, we will fall short when we reached the moment when the sky opens, and angels appear. Suddenly our cast would never be big enough.
That’s when we realize that while the story seems to indicate that the numbers were small, no one in this story was actually alone. And neither are we. When God is in the story, “God is always a majority.”*
When God is in the story, “God is always a majority.”
To those who feel alone, marginalized, overwhelmed, abandoned, discouraged, or isolated as they travel through life, God is our ultimate “plus one.”
Congress campaigns for that extra seat. Sports teams pursue the last run, the final basket, the winning goal. We play table games hoping for the last card or the roll of the dice to win. And yet, when we choose God, there is no counting of numbers, no sides, no contest, no strategy, no luck. We accept Him and we win. God is always a majority.
On this Christmas Day we will count our blessings. This week, as we close out this year we will reflect on where we have come and anticipate the future. But whatever your circumstances, take time to recognize that like those in the Christmas story, we did not travel alone on this journey we call 2022. God is always majority. There are angels—more than we can count. There is more love than we can fathom. More protection than what might be offered by the largest military force in the world. There is hope. There is purpose. There is encouragement. Be renewed, for when God is added, we win.
*Ellen White, Acts of the Apostles, p. 590.
My daughter Ellen, and I, both wish you the merriest of Christmas greetings! Thanks so much for taking this journey with us, reading the devotions (purchasing the devotional!), enjoying the graphics, and sharing the word with others. We hope that each week you have been renewed as you have studied not only individually, but with your child(ren), worshiping the One who we owe so much praise. Let’s now turn the page into 2023 and find what God has in store!
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Merle Poirier writes from Silver Spring, Maryland, where she works as the operation manager for Adventist Review and Adventist World magazines as well as the designer for KidsView, a magazine for 8-12-year-olds. She enjoys spending time with her family including being the grandmother of two active little boys, who greatly enjoy Starting With Jesus.