Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Means There Are No Bit Parts

        I can't believe that it is Christmas Eve and this is the first time the whole month I have taken the time to blog. I have chased dozens of ideas around in my head, I created a printable and even developed a new recipe, but I never would commit anything to print, so to speak. I have struggled my whole life with feeling inadequate and unimportant, and this holiday season it has really been getting to me. My every step, some days, feels dogged by chants of "not enough" and "no one cares". This isn't a pity party, it is just gut-level honesty, which is pretty much all I have ever put out here, so nothing new.

    I won't blame anything, it isn't the fault of the media, or my friends, or my lack of therapy. I have learned that I need to rely on the Lord to satisfy my needs, as nothing else will do. And that is probably why I have been so heavily weighed down by my insufficiency, because I know what to do but I'm not doing it.

    Sometimes I am just worried that I am not making a difference, that nothing I do really counts. Everyone else seems to have a starring role, and I feel stuck behind the scenes, or worse, standing in line hoping for a ticket. Everyone else has their name up in lights, and I can't seem to catch a break.

    And I wondered if sometimes Joseph felt that way. In "The Christmas Story" he has a strange part, if you really consider it. He barely merits a few lines in Luke, most of his story is found in Matthew. He is called a "righteous man" and is recommended by his family line. He is the descendant of David that gave Jesus his heritage. But really, after he appears in the story of twelve year-old Jesus teaching in the temple, we don't hear much about him. He fades from Scripture and often our memories.

    I recently bought a nativity to share with my preschool class. It was what seems to be the normal set-up, the holy family, the Magi, a little stable. I asked one of the children to name the pieces with me and when they got to the man with the staff they said, "shepherd"! No, it was poor Joseph, who had less significance in their mind than the lowly sheep herders. We know his name, but what do we really *know* about him? Not too much it seems, other than his background and his few actions that show him to be a protective, caring man of God.  But still, sometimes, he seems a bit part, his name appearing far down on the list of characters in the show. Did his name even make it on the marquee at all?

    But you and I know better. Even if my preschool student didn't recognize Joseph's importance, we can. We know his obedience saved Mary and Jesus, that he had faith to follow through even when the way was unclear. We know he was vital to the story, just as God had planned it.

    And when I really pay attention, I know that is true for me, too. Because Christmas means there are no bit parts. Jesus came so that EVERY life can have meaning and value. Every one gets to be essential to the story line that points to the glory of God with every page. He is the star, but we all get to have killer supporting roles, making sure that the message gets across.

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:19b-20 HCSB
   Because He lives in me, all that I say and do has value. Just like Joseph, I have a part to play. And even if it seems small at times, in reality it will last for eternity if I am living by faith. I may not have more than a few lines to read, but Christ makes them essential if He is living in me.

"And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." Colossians 3:17 HCSB
    His birth and His death make every life important. Christmas means there are no bit parts. Thank You, Father, for sending Your Son.Help me to remember that You are the reason for *every* season, and You alone can make my life worthwhile.

1 comment:

  1. Wowzers, loved this! I feel this same way more often then I'd like to admit. Thanks for the reminder that Jesus is the star and everyone else is a supporting character.



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