How would you answer these Christmas questions?
“What do you want for Christmas?” That’s the question I’ve asked family members in order to buy the perfect gift for each person. It’s even better if they give me a list of gift of ideas, so I can surprise them.
The other day I read a Christmas question posted on our church bulletin board that started me thinking about the other questions in the Christmas story. For instance, when the Angel Gabriel appeared to the young virgin Mary and made the startling announcement that she would give birth to the Christ Child, Mary asked, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” (Luke 1:34)
Mary hurriedly went to see her cousin, Elizabeth, who was miraculously expecting a child. Elizabeth felt her baby leap for joy in her womb when Mary greeted her. Elizabeth asked, “Why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:39-45)
The Bible doesn’t tell us specifically. But when Joseph approached the Inn Keeper in Bethlehem, desperately seeking shelter for Mary who was about to deliver her child, he must have asked for a room and was told there were none.
Then, the Wise Men, who traveled from afar, arrived in Jerusalem and asked King Herod, “Where is He who is born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him” (Matthew 2:1 -12). King Herod did not have an answer, so he asked the chief priests and scribes where the Christ was to be born. They replied, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet” that a Ruler would come.
Have you ever noticed the Christmas questions in the carols we sing? “What Child is this, who laid to rest, on Mary’s lap is sleeping? Whom Angels greet with anthems sweet, While shepherds watch are keeping?”
There’s another song that asks, “Have you any room for Jesus, He who bore your load of sin? As He knocks and asks admission, Sinner, will you let Him in?” Mark Lowry has written one of the most popular Christmas songs whose lyrics ask many questions addressed to the virgin Mary.
“Mary, did you know that your baby boy would one day walk on water? Mary, did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters? Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new? This child that you’ve delivered, will soon deliver you.
“Mary, did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man? Mary, did you know that your baby boy will calm the storm with his hand? Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod? When you kiss your little baby, you kiss the face of God.”
By the way, the Christmas question on the church bulletin board asks, “Are you part of the Inn crowd or one of the Stable few?” Do you want to ask God “How can this be?” because of the circumstances you are experiencing now? Are you searching for Jesus? Wise men and women still seek Him.
Jan White is an national award-winning religion columnist. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org