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CHRISTMAS: The lead role

FORT TOTTEN, N.D. (BP) — Your church’s Christmas play probably hasn’t included someone dressed as the Holy Spirit.

You have Mary and Joseph, shepherds and wise men, sheep and donkeys. You might even have angels or a star. But no one casts the Holy Spirit.

The church ladies would have a hard time making a costume to accurately depict the Holy Spirit of God — and maybe no one should attempt a physical representation, but His role in the incarnation of Christ should not be forgotten or downplayed during the Christmas season.

The presence of the Holy Spirit is front and center in Matthew and Luke’s accounts of the birth of Christ. His activity brings about the entire narrative.

Although conception awes us for its complexity, even more so Mary’s conception of Jesus resulted from the spiritual intervention of the Holy Spirit.

God the Father ordained that His Holy Spirit would make it possible for a human woman to conceive Jesus Christ the Son. It is a New Testament reader’s first introduction to the Trinitarian nature of God, but it is so eloquently carried out that even a 5–year-old can understand the plot line. It is something that only God’s Spirit could do.

The Holy Spirit also plays leading roles in filling Zechariah, Elizabeth, Anna and Simeon. The result was that each was then able to speak God’s truth about the coming Messiah. Scripture describes them as devout, righteous God worshippers when the Holy Spirit acted in their lives to reveal God’s truth.

How should this affect our Christmas celebrations?

Just as the action of the Holy Spirit brought about the advent of Christ, it is true for our relationship with Him as well. Nothing we do creates a relationship with God. Instead, it is all accomplished through the action of His Spirit and the sacrifice of His Son.

Focusing on the Holy Spirit’s role in the lives of the nativity characters helps us zoom out from their temporary roles in the story and zoom in to the Holy Spirit’s eternal role in God’s story. He acts. We respond.

Also, the Holy Spirit revealed God’s truth to those who were obediently, patiently waiting for God to send Word about His plan. While we wait patiently for the second advent of Christ, we should respond to God as He forms a relationship with us by living surrendered, obedient lives. It is to those who are waiting for Him that the Holy Spirit will reveal God’s truth.

Finally, realizing that the Holy Spirit takes the lead role in the Christmas narrative helps us realize that He should have the lead role in our lives all the time. He is eternal. We are temporary.

This Advent season, dive deeper into the work of the Holy Spirit in the Christmas story and grow closer to Jesus by allowing the Holy Spirit to work in your life.

    About the Author

  • Sarah Dixon Young

    Sarah Dixon Young is a writer in North Dakota, where her husband Paul is pastor of Dakota Baptist Church.

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