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Christmas is the time of year when most Christians get to put their faith on display-angels dot the boughs of Christmas trees. Tiny figurines of Jesus, his family, and most unexpected visitors grace miniature (and sometimes life-sized) nativity scenes. And even the most secular of radio stations play songs with lyrics such as “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”. In fact, for many Christians, Christmas may be the only time of the year when our faith is on display.

Mary proclaimed her faith at a time in her life of such distress that it could probably be best described as a disaster. Yet how was it that this young, unwed, soon-to-be homeless, teen mom was able to remain steadfast in her faith? It was not the result of a public display of her faith-no mustard seed necklace, no fancy t-shirt quoting the Torah, no seasonally-appropriate wooden re-creation of Noah’s Ark on her front lawn. No, her faith ran so deep, it was so engrained in her, that her soul- the very essence of her being, magnified the Lord.

Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love christmas decorations. I have an entire Christmas village slowly taking over my living room. But what would happen if in addition to our public displays of faith through material means, our souls actually magnified the God who gave us life, the world, unconditional love, and a tiny baby who came to bring us ultimate grace?

My prayer for you this advent is that you are an angel to the people you know and the strangers that you meet. That the faith shining outward from your soul is so big that it overshadows even the largest nativity lawn scenes. And most of all I pray that through your words, actions, and your Spirit, you help others see that the prince of peace and justice, Emmanuel, God with us, is not only a line in a song but a new way of life in which we are all transformed here and now through following the example of Mary’s steadfast faith and the life of her Son, Jesus Christ.

If you missed an entry in our Advent devotions series, please click here to see all previously posted devotions.

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