I’ve noticed that most teens don’t even use text messaging or phone calls anymore. They use Snapchat or some other form of social media networking. It got me thinking about the first Christmas and what it would have been like if these social media outlets were available then. Mary and Joseph, after all, were just teens. What would they, among others, post regarding that night?
After reading through all the biblical accounts of the birth of Jesus this past week I want to draw attention to three responses to the birth of Jesus. Three Snaps or Instagram posts that I think these people would have made.
First Snap – “His will be done in me…”
After the visit of the Angel and the shock of what God wanted to do, Mary chose to submit herself to God’s plan. It was a crazy plan. Mary would have to carry the Son of God in her womb while enduring the scorn and shame from friends and family. Mary’s decision to humble herself before God is an inspirational example. I don’t always want to embrace God’s plans for me. I don’t always want to be his servant. But Mary didn’t endure her pregnancy as a burden she embraced it as a blessing! “My soul praises God,” she sang, “For he has chosen me, a lowly servant, and from now on all nations will call me blessed!”
God’s plans aren’t burdens they are blessings. Mary believed in a God of goodness and faithfulness. She believed it was all worth it. Mary invented #blessed. After the birth of Jesus I bet she would have posted another Snap with the caption, “Best day ever”. Mary treasured every moment in her heart. (Luke 1:38, 68-69; 2:19)
Second Snap – “Promise fulfilled:Our Savior King is here!”
Out of all the people, God could have sent the first birth announcement of Jesus to, shepherds were a terrible choice. At least according to the religious leaders. Shepherds were considered unclean because of their work. They weren’t allowed to worship in the temple and they were treated as second class citizens. People assumed they were unreliable, dirty, and uncivilized. And yet, God chose to tell them about the birth of the Savior King first. Why? Perhaps it was because Jesus would later be called the perfect lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. Perhaps it was because God wanted even the least of society to know that His salvation and Kingship was for them too. Or perhaps he knew that shepherds were loud-mouthed rowdy talkers.
As soon as the shepherds finished worshipping Jesus they left as raucously as a bunch of teenagers after a party. They wandered around the town singing glory to God and shouting the good news of Jesus birth to anyone who would listen. They were excited. They got people’s attention. They were the first people to share the gospel. (Luke 2:8-20)
I love the heart of these guys. It wasn’t their education that made them effective. It wasn’t their position or power that helped them make a difference. What made them truly influence others for Jesus was their personal experience. They had an experience with Jesus and they couldn’t help but tell others. They had to tell others. Have you had this kind of meeting with Jesus, one that impacted you so much that you just have to tell others about Him? We spend so much energy telling others about great food, winning sports teams, trendy fashions, or even our own accomplishments. All that is meaningless compared to sharing the good news of the Savior King, Jesus. Jesus should always elicit our most joyous response.
Third: Instagram Post – “In the presence of a true king.”
These three men, often called wise men, were rich and influential Kings that were anticipating the King prophesied about in the Bible. They wanted to meet this divine King of Kings. It was probably around a year after the birth of Jesus that these men were finally led by the star to Jesus. They brought gifts of Gold, Frankincense, and myrrh. Each gift representing an aspect of Jesus’ kingship. They traveled for years and spent a large sum or their resources just to worship Jesus. (Matthew 2:9-11)
What makes the response of the wise men so meaningful is the amount of effort it took to give Jesus their gifts. The gifts were really just a precursor to their ultimate desire – worship. So many Christians only “follow” Jesus for what they can get from Him. They live however they want and only think about Jesus at church or when things go wrong. To follow Jesus is to live a life of worship. To submit your whole life to His kingship. Jesus doesn’t need gold, perfumes, or spices. What he wants is us. He desires an eternal relationship with us. He desires our life as a gift. Maybe this Christmas is a time for you to stop and prepare your heart to worship and lay down your life as your true offering.
Mary’s response to Jesus was one of trust. She trusted God’s plan and submitted her whole life to obeying. The shepherd’s response was one of praise. They told anyone and everyone about the glory of God and the Savior Jesus. And last, the response of the Wise Men was one of worship. They did whatever it took to bow their life down before Jesus and give him their gifts.
Can you trust God that His plan for you is worth obeying? Will you be bold and loud about your savior Jesus? Are you ready to give God your whole life? Are you ready to truly worship Him with all that you are?
PS – Check out this video that has a similar social media approach to the “First Christmas”