Posted on December 22, 2023 by Elizabeth Welte in Victory Call

“Who can add to Christmas? The perfect motive is that God so loved the world. The perfect gift is that He gave His only Son. The only requirement is to believe in Him. The reward of faith is that you shall have everlasting life.” – Corrie Ten Boom


Traditions. Everyone has Christmas traditions. Some of us might open a present or two Christmas Eve, read a family favorite Christmas book, exchange gifts Christmas morning, or enjoy a big Christmas feast. Whatever your traditions may be, do you personally stop to think about what Christmas is really about? Do you discuss the meaning of Christmas with your family and children? Talk about why we celebrate Christmas in the first place? It’s all warm and fuzzy to exchange and receive gifts, fill up on your family’s favorite food, to talk about Santa and his elves, and the “elf on the shelf,” but do you pause to think about the true value and meaning of Christmas?


Let me give you reason for pause this year and let’s look into the days leading up to Jesus’ birth:

The Christmas story started long before Mary & Joseph. But through Christ’s lineage, Joseph was where God the Father chose to insert His son, Jesus, into history. Now, Mary wasn’t married to Joseph yet; they were engaged. One night Mary was visited by an angel, Gabriel. He told her how the Holy Spirit would overcome her and she’d give birth to a son. [1] Just after this miraculous visit she went to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, who she just learned from Gabriel, was 6 months pregnant with who we know as John the Baptist. It had been some time and when Mary returned, she told Joseph what she was told by Gabriel, and Joseph had a hard time comprehending it. [2] I mean, wouldn’t you? As human beings, we often have trouble wrapping our small brains around big concepts/things. The fact that Joseph’s virgin fiancé became pregnant by The Holy Spirit? Wowza! From a human perspective… yeah, that seems far-reached.




God knew what He was doing. Everything happens in His perfect timing. I’d like to think that God put Joseph’s thoughts in the Bible to remind us that Joseph wasn’t perfect. He had his doubts. He was human; and so are we! Don’t we often have doubts that need reassurance or a serious talking-to to get our minds back on track?




* Pause: Now, remember, the fact that Mary was still a virgin is extremely important because there needed to be NO WAY for Joseph to be Jesus’ father. If Mary wasn’t a virgin then Jesus wouldn’t have been the perfect Lamb of God who would live a spotless, sinless life so He could one day save us from our sins – past, present, & future. Also remember, back in those days, engagement was the highest pledge other than marriage itself, and it wasn’t taken lightly whatsoever. Let me put it into context for you: if you were unfaithful in any way towards your fiancé or spouse, it was punishable by death.




 Joseph being human and a good honest man, didn’t want to bring shame to Mary and her family; so, he was going to “divorce” her quietly (or in other words, break off the engagement). Told you they take that pledge seriously! Here’s another BUT GOD moment: God did work on Joseph’s heart that night. He reassured Joseph, by sending Gabriel (the same angel that visited Mary), that she hadn’t been unfaithful to him and it was still ok to marry her. In fact, he told Joseph what was to be the baby’s name: “Immanuel”. [3] And Joseph did as so; he married Mary!

Just take a moment to reflect on what just happened over what was probably a few months period of time:

  • Mary’s initial thoughts when Gabriel came to her and how she felt: Honestly, I think I would’ve thought, “Excuse me? You say what now?” A second of and inkling of disbelief? Shock? But she was reassured as Gabriel spoke that this was truly what God was asking of her.
  • Imagine what Joseph was going through? The initial thought that Mary cheated on him… Some reading this might know those feelings of betrayal, abandonment, loss, pain, and maybe even shame. And being good enough to not bring shame on the other person despite your feelings?




None of this would’ve been even possible without God. Later on in Jesus’ life, He says, “…‘With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.’” Mark 10:27 (ESV) ALL THINGS, not some things, but ALL THINGS are possible with God! Let that really sink in. Jesus came into this world to be born a perfect lamb, live a sinless life, be ridiculed and shamed for things we’ve done, die a painful death on a cross FOR US, and rise 3 days later so that we can receive HIS GIFT of eternal life!

If you’d like to receive that gift Jesus so freely gave, call us (800) 453-7942! We’d love to speak with you!

So, as you go through this Christmas season shopping for your gifts, wrapping presents, prepping your big Christmas meal, going through the motions of your family traditions – remember what Christmas is REALLY all about!


Merry Christmas!


[1] Luke 1:26-35

[2] Matthew 1:19-23

[3] Matthew 1:23


Written by Elizabeth Welte: Elizabeth is currently serving as Keswick’s Marketing Director. She is married to Dr. Bill Welte’s son Zach, who serves in Keswick’s AV Department. She is an advanced violinist; playing for 20+ years. She also rides & jumps horses in her spare time.

Think About This:  “As long as we blame others for our issues and don’t take personal responsibility, we remove ourselves from God’s provision and His correction, forgiveness, and restoration.” ― Drenda Keesee

The Daily Bible Reading: Hebrews 10-12. You can download our 2024 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here.

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:  “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

Want to get away & have dedicated time to read & learn God’s Word?

Consider a retreat at America’s Keswick retreat center.


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