Monday, December 18, 2006

The Nativity Story

Keisha Castle-Hughes as Mary in "The Nativity Story"

Yesterday I went to see the movie "The Nativity Story." I had heard good reviews, and so I and a few people from my church went to see it. I enjoyed the movie on several levels. The first was that I thought it had excellent acting, music and cinematography. But it was enjoyable on another level as well, and that was to visually see the story of Jesus' birth played out. While it is wonderful to have the Bible to read, being able to see what is going on as well helps to put things in perspective. I was moved by the realization of the difficult times Mary and Joseph lived in. I was reminded of their status in society. I was caught by the difficulty Mary's pregnancy would have caused her in the community, with Joseph, and even with her parents. It was wonderful to see this story unfold in front of me. And even though there was artistic license taken, it was still a profound experience for me.
As my church members and I talked about the movie afterwards, we remarked about several things that stood out to us. First, was that Mary was a teenager who joked around and had crushes on other boys. When she was told that she would marry Joseph, it was a blow to her at first. Second, was how Mary was committed to doing what the Lord asked her, even if others around her doubted. I loved the line to her parents: "I have told you the truth. Now it is up to you whether you believe me or not." Third, the love that developed for Mary to Joseph as they made the journey to Bethlehem. Joseph was a committed husband and father, even in the midst of this adversity of being with a woman whose child was not his. And forth, Mary and Joseph were just regular people. We like to try to immortalize the people of the Bible, but they were just like you and me. They had struggles, and doubts, and fears. But for Mary, it all came down to faith, as she believed what the angel told her in Luke 1:37- "For nothing will be impossible with God." Mary and Joseph were just normal people struggling to survive each day.
So I leave you with this: Where do you need to believe that God will do for you? Now I'm not talking about your selfish desires. I'm talking about where God is leading you in life. What is God calling you to do? Trust that nothing will be impossible with God, and He will bless you and fill you and empower you to carry it out. Tell me what you think. (