The Christmas Story of Empowerment

whoa! Crazy title!

ChristmasOur Advent Series at CCC, Let It Be Christmas and a post by Todd Heistand got me thinking about Christmas a little differently this year.  I love new revelation!

I have had this new sense of how anticipated the birth of Christ was for the Hebrews.  They had waited so long for someone to lead them out of the crappy (yes, I said it) lifestyle they were leading.  How many of their children, husbands, wives died because of the conditions they lived in?  What a disgrace to God’s own people to live like that. Where was their God?

This sense of intense waiting has made me rethink the entire episode.  How unbelievable it must have been for Mary and Joseph that they would be the ones to raise the new leader of Israel!  But even more than that, how crazy that God would entrust himself to the care of us humans.

I’ve been reading the One-Life Solution by Henry Cloud (take the time, it’s good).  In one section he talks about empowering people.  You provide good guidelines, adequate supervision and let the person run.  They fail or succeed on their own.  It carries way more responsibility and burden, but also greater reward.

As I watched “Let It Be Christmas” at the Yellow Box tonight (go see it!) I thought what an empowering act to humble yourself to the extent of being born to a teenager, in a nation that was not powerful enough to even protect themselves from being overtaken.  He didn’t micromanage Joseph… “Hey Joe, don’t you think you should make reservations in Bethlehem?  I don’t want to sleep in a dump.” or “Joseph, get a head start, you know your wife is gonna pop any day now!” He let Joseph be Joseph and Mary be Mary.  He gave them guidelines (signs, the law, angels) he supervised them – never letting them our of His sight (“psst Joe, go to Egypt, it’s gonna get bad”)

But still it was their responsibility to be loving parents, to figure out how to raise a kid smarter and kinder than them, how to make ends meet, how to keep their family safe, to hear from God in regards to their child…

That’s empowerment.  Thank God.

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