I received a call in mid October from church asking if I would like to be in the Christmas musical. I said yes without a second thought. And then the voice on the other side of the phone said, “Oh and one more thing… you would be playing an interesting role… you would be playing the part of a pregnant, homeless teenager. Would you be comfortable with playing a role like that?” I said that I would be fine and that I was looking forward to it. But to myself I was thinking, “How ironic is it that I speak and blog for a purity ministry and I’m playing the part of a pregnant teenager?”
I should’ve known right then and there that it was time for a heart check.
Not so different after all
In theatre there’s a lot of talk about adding the character to yourself. How can you relate to the role you’re playing? What similar personality traits do you share with the character? Life circumstances? Character flaws? As I went to the first few rehearsals, mulling this over, I just didn’t know how I could relate to a pregnant teenager who was living on the streets. My personality was about as different as night and day from my character’s and my life circumstances certainly weren’t the same.
We are broken
But just like my character, I am broken. I’m broken because of the presence of sin in my life. And that sin separates me from a perfect and holy God. Playing this role reminded me of my own personal need of a Savior and drove me once again to repentance.
We are hopeless
The character I played felt broken, defeated, and hopeless. And the truth is, there isn’t hope for her or me, at least not left to our own devices. No matter how hard we try, nothing we do can patch up our sinful thoughts, actions, and attitudes. Every sinner needs someone perfect to be born, to live, and to die for us.
God is sovereign
One of my new favorite Christmas songs is He Shall Reign Forevermore from Chris Tomlin’s Christmas worship album. The lyrics of the bridge are powerful, “Here within a manger lies the One who made the starry skies. This baby born for sacrifice, Christ the Messiah. Into our hopes into our fears, the Savior of the world appears. The promise of eternal years, Christ the Messiah.”
We both need a pride check
My character continually refused help from those who offered it to her. She wanted to prove that she could make it on her own as she clung to what was left of her pride. When we grasp at our good works or “clean” track records, we’re attempting to do the same thing – cling to our pride and be good enough on our own.
We both need a Savior
Pride can so easily creep into my heart if I start comparing myself to others. But that pride is just proving my brokenness and my sinful nature. I can relate to that pregnant teenaged character more than I realized at first. We’re both separated from Christ. We both need a Savior. And we both need to have our hearts humbled by Jesus, the ultimate example of humility.
“While Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn” (Luke 2:6-7).
What kind of King would leave His rightful throne in glory to be born of a virgin in a stable? A King who clothed Himself in humility for the sake of the world that He loves. How can I cling to my pride when I see an example of humility like that?
The Jews had been waiting in silence for 400 years. They were waiting for a mighty king who would make a triumphant entrance and rescue them for their oppression. And that is who Jesus was – a King who saved His own from the bondage of sin. But He came as a baby crying in a stable. And the world didn’t recognize Him until He opened their eyes.
2,000 years later, we know from the Word of God that Jesus is the Savior. I’ve learned that the opposite of pride is praise. So will you join me in praising the One who is the ultimate example of humility, our Savior?
“And He shall reign forevermore, forevermore. Unto us a child is born, the King of kings and Lord of lords. And He shall reign forevermore.” Link to He Shall Reign Forevermore