Written by Michael T. Powers
In the twenty or so years that my wife and I have been doing Youth ministry, we have dealt with a lot of Teens who have gotten themselves into some dire straits. In fact, I thought there was nothing that could possibly surprise us anymore…
I was wrong…
There is one Teenage girl we know that I had to tell you about. However, before I do, I want you to understand that in our youth ministry, we always strive for confidentiality, to protect both the Teen and the Teen’s family. So it is with great trepidation that I share this with you for I know that some of you will figure out who this girl is. But I am hoping that by the end of these few pages, you will understand why I had to share what I am about to tell you.
Before you rush to judgment, I want you to hang with me here. In fact, more than anything else, I want you to put yourself in this Teen’s shoes. Try and feel what she must be feeling…
This young girl is about 14 years old and she comes to the stark realization that she is pregnant. Not only does she realize that her life is going to drastically change, but to make matters worse, she is afraid to tell her boyfriend. Normally she can go to her boyfriend with any problem. He is a pretty stable, understanding and dependable guy. But this time it’s different. You see, the baby is not his.
She lays awake that first night thinking about all the people she has to face that next day.
She has always been worthy of the trust her Parents have put in her. In fact other families have remarked to her Parents how they wish their daughters were more like her. But now she has to stand before them and explain how she got pregnant. And if that is not bad enough, she is going to have to explain to them that the father of the baby is not the young man that her parents think she should marry…
She loves her boyfriend more than anyone! Well, almost more than anyone. How is she going to face him? Where is she going to get the courage? It would almost be easier if she could tell him that it was just a big mistake and that she is oh, so sorry for it. But she can’t lie to him. She will have to look into his trusting eyes and tell him that she wilfully chose the path that led to this little life growing inside of her. She knows deep down inside, that if she had to do it all over again, she would make the same decision, and end up in the same precarious situation. “Please God! Please let him understand and not abandon me. I need him so much right now!”
Right or wrong, they have always put her on a pedestal. Always looked to her for answers. Always modelled their life after hers. But she knows instinctively that they will not understand. In fact she knows that she may never be able to explain to them what made her do what she did.
So she lays there in bed, afraid, overwhelmed, and reaching out to God for strength to face what is ahead of her.
The next day she finally gets up the courage to tell her boyfriend. He reacts just as she feared he would react. He is going to leave her.
She becomes distraught and questions God: “Why God? Why? I know that I am in this situation because of a decision I made, but please don’t take my boyfriend away from me! I desperately need him now!”
This unnamed Teen goes to bed that night more afraid than ever, feeling every bit the young child that she is…
Her name? Normally I wouldn’t give that to you. But in this case she asked that her name be known so that others will understand what she has gone through and be encouraged…
Her name is Mary and
she lived 2000 years ago.
Have you ever thought of the Christmas story in this way before?
Think about it! You are a 14-year old girl and an Angel appears to you and says, “I’m going to place a baby inside of your womb.” Most 14-year old girls I know would say, “I’m sorry, but that doesn’t fit in with my plans for my life. I have my whole life ahead of me and I can’t be held back by a baby! How am I going to go to prom now!?”
How does Mary tell Joseph? Have you ever thought of that? She has to go to her future Husband and say, “I’m pregnant and the baby is not yours.
The conversation may have gone something like this…
Mary: “Joe, before you get angry at me I want you to know that I didn’t cheat on you.”
Joseph: “Come on Mary! You know full well that we have not known each other in the Biblical sense, so the baby can’t possibly be mine!”
Mary: “Joseph, you have to believe me. I did not have sex with anyone!”
Joseph: “Please Mary, don’t do this to me. You know that I love you and care for you. But I can’t listen to this.”
Mary: “OK, Joseph, I won’t lie to you.” (She pauses, searching his eyes for the understanding that she knows is not humanly possible.) “The baby is from God.”
Joseph: “Mary! Please! This is not like you! In fact, I am beginning to think I don’t even know you any more!”
Mary: “You have to believe me Joseph!”
Joseph: (The wheels already turning in his head as to what he needs to do) “Mary, you know that I love you. But I won’t stand for this. I have every right to put you away from me publicly, but I don’t have the heart to do that to you. I won’t marry you now, but I will allow you to find some dignity
and not make a big deal out of this. But go you will.”
Mary: “Please Joseph! You’ve got to believe me! Why would I make something like this up!”
Joseph: “Enough! I don’t want to hear another word.”
And he walks away, leaving Mary distraught and worrying…
You know the story. An Angel appears to Joseph and verifies that what Mary says is truth.
Hopefully by now you are not thinking of the story of Jesus’ birth as the same old boring story that we read every Christmas season!
Stop your busyness and ponder with me these next few weeks.
Think of God as a fetus, leaving Heaven and all of its splendour and becoming one of the most fragile things on Earth: a human baby. An animal baby is more able to defend and adapt when they are born than a human is.
As a writer, I would never have written the story this way. If I’m going to write the story of God coming to Earth, He’s going to be on a white stallion when He rides out of Heaven. Every hoof-beat will leave lightning-like sparks on the streets of gold and peals of thunder in the air. The stars will line up as letters in every language that will blink: “The King of Kings is Coming!” He’s going to burst through the ozone layer in a fiery explosion that will rock the foundation of the earth and send humans and animals to a prone position on the ground. Then He’s going to circle the entire earth from east to west and the clouds will trail behind Him like a pure white flowing robe. There’ll be the deafening sound of heavenly trumpets and the majestic pureness of millions of angels’ voices hitting your ears as if they were right next to you ( something like it will be when He returns )
That’s how I’d write it.
God says, “Nope. He’s going to live inside of an unwed teenage girl and He’s going to be born in a stable.” Which is a really nice word for a cave where smelly animals live. There was manure and urine on the floor, and the stench was almost unbearable. Priceless paintings and works of art did not hang on the walls in this nursery. No, if you were to look on these walls you would see cobwebs.
Psalm 33:6 reads, “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, their starry host
by the breath of his mouth.”
The One who breathed galaxies into existence, now depended on an umbilical cord for His oxygen. Amazing!
In your wildest dreams, can you equate the deity of the King of Kings making his entrance into this world through the human process we call birth.
Instead of noticing a crown of purest gold on His head, you notice the cone-shape of His head as He was forced through the birth canal. Instead of wearing the finest robes money can buy He is wrapped in rags.
Instead of a finely crafted bed made by the most gifted craftsman in the land, He is laid in a feeding trough. That’s what a manger is! A feeding trough! God was put in a feeding trough where cows put their tongues to lick up food.
That is where the King of the universe slept each night.
He who sustains the entire universe is now being sustained
through the milk of a teenage girl.
If Mary could have written a book, it would be on the New York Times’ Best-Selling List. The title of the book would have been, “I Changed God’s Diapers.” Have you ever thought of that? Someone had to change the God of the universe’s diapers. This gets a little gross, and I’m used to talking to youth, so forgive me, but, human waste was next to Jesus’ skin. Is it hard to imagine Jesus in such a mundane and human way? In fact it is almost irreverent.
But the God of the universe Loved us so much that he was willing to humble Himself and give us the most precious Christmas present ever given… His Son Jesus Christ.
May we never let ourselves say, “The same old Christmas story,” ever again. And, may we never get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season that we don’t stop and take the time to reflect about what an amazing God we have. Written by Michael T. Powers
For this Christmas, and all that follow lets pray that we never lose sight of it’s Wonder and Joy or forget it’s True meaning because Christmas it not about what day we celebrate it or whether we have a Christmas tree or not and it’s not even about if uncle Jack would like socks or hankies although these may have meaning for us, but It’s about cherishing each and every one in our heart and being thankful, for Christmas is a gift of remembrance a reminder of just how much…
The Awesome God of Creation … The Beginning and the End… The Great I Am… The King of Kings The Wonderful Counselor… The Lord and our Saviour Loves us.