Have you ever been awake in bed the night before a really big day and just known that whatever happened the next day had the potential to change everything? Sometimes we don’t even see those days coming; they just happen, and then nothing is ever the same after. But other times, they greet us at the door and turn us upside-down.
I can only imagine how Mary must have felt – what she must have thought – right Jesus was to be born.
Excitement. Anticipation. Fear. Foreboding.
A long, dangerous journey around treacherous mountain roads on the back of a donkey had led her to a humble cave in her husband’s hometown. It was the least noble of places for a King to make His entrance, but this is the place God chose. This was to be the long-awaited day when the Messiah would be born.
Soon after, the earth-cracking, universe-shattering, sin-defeating moment of His birth arrived. God Almighty became a sinless child – a sinless man – taking on human form to identify with the ones for whom He would sacrifice His life. His birth was a cataclysmic shift in all the universe, in all of time and space and matter. And the only ones to greet him were His parents, the stable animals, and a few shepherds who followed the angels’ heralding of the birth of a King. On this one single day, He became the unbecoming so that we could become becoming in the eyes of a holy God. This one day changed it all for us, for good.
Thirty-three years later, they must have thought thought one day would end the hope they’d so clung to for salvation, for a new kingdom, for restoration. One day was all it took, and the Messiah they’d hailed and persecuted, loved and hated was nailed to a tree at the highest point of the dump at the entrance to the city.
Three days later, one more day changed it all and finished the work He’d come to do. That day, the earth-cracking, universe-shattering, sin-defeating, darkness-dispelling resurrection baffled minds and stirred hearts for Him, for more. Slaves became friends, orphans became family, and criminals became saints in the eyes of God because of that one day.
Still, there is one more day that will alter the course of our lives, create a ripple in space-time and eternity, and rattle the gates of Heaven and Hell – the one day when we say “YES” to Him. When we throw down our ambitions and crowns, our hopes and desires, our guilt and wandering, our shame and secrets, and take up the humble new beginnings He took to bring us life. When we say “YES” to His crazy plan and become born yet again into a new way of living, putting to death our old way of thinking and allowing Him to resurrect our hearts. When we say “YES” to the impossible thing He’s asking us to do and allow Him to work out the details. When we say “YES”, no matter the cost, just as Mary said “YES” the day the angel told her she would be the mother of the Messiah.
This Christmas, let’s make room in our hearts for whatever “YES” He may be asking from us. “YES” to hope. “YES” to faith. “YES” to surrender. “YES” to taking that next big step. This one day – this one “YES” – could change it all.