The Lowly State of His Servants

A Story, HisStory, Listening When He Speaks, Love God, Photo Story

Three years ago, after the special Christmas service at our church, I walked into the sanctuary with a my camera and captured a couple of priceless images. 

As others were scurrying about, these two were sitting at the base of the cross. I sat in the dark and watched. They were so focused on something. So solemn. So peaceful. When they spotted me, I asked them what they were doing. They looked at me like I should know. And they said in unison, “We are being Mary and Joseph.” 

They didn’t jump up, nor did they run off, they continued to sit there in silent stillness.


When God gave us His presence through His Son, do you think Mary and Joseph knew what Wonder they were beholding? 

I reckon they did not know their place in HisStory would be portrayed in porcelain and plastic nativity scenes, in movie reproductions, in outdoor Bethlehem reenactments, in plays on church stages…and in our hearts.

As I see my sin shining bright, bright like Christmas tree lights, I wonder what set them apart. How did they get to be so beloved by God? Did they ever raise voices, lose tempers, speak in anger? Did they let frustration rule their day? Did they ever complain or moan or groan? Although they accepted their divinely cast roles, did doubt ever flutter wings across their minds?

How can we be like those two?

And dare we even try?

For the Christmas service these two kiddos previously had been a shepherd and an angel. They knew their roles, they practiced their lines, and they did well. 

But it was in the quiet and still when nobody was watching that I believe these two did their utmost best. And it was there, in the dark, quiet sanctuary that God taught me a great deal about my focus for Christmas. He preached me a sermon louder and clearer than any I had heard from the other side of the podium.

Mary and Joseph simply did the best they could with the opportunities they were given. And in the lives they lived. Sure, they must have leaned on one another, but what awes me is that their trust and their peace in God must have been immeasurable.

Can you even imagine?

Even though we may place a porcelain creche set under the tree or set one flaming with candles atop a table, we cannot wrap the best gift of all time and top it with a bow. Nope.

God already did that when He sent His Son to the dirt floor and gave Him a mamma and a daddy named Mary and Joseph.

May God speak to you in the quiet places of your heart. And may He whisper divine Truth so loud that you cannot hear anything but His Words. Go on, unwrap your gift. Do it early. He is waiting.

 And Mary said: 

      “ My soul magnifies the Lord, 

       And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. 

         For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; 
      For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. 
         For He who is mighty has done great things for me, 
      And holy is His name. 

         And His mercy is on those who fear Him 

      From generation to generation. 

         He has shown strength with His arm; 

      He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. 

         He has put down the mighty from their thrones, 

      And exalted the lowly. 

         He has filled the hungry with good things, 

      And the rich He has sent away empty. 

         He has helped His servant Israel, 

      In remembrance of His mercy, 

         As He spoke to our fathers, 

      To Abraham and to his seed forever.” ~Luke 1: 46-55 NKJV


6 thoughts on “The Lowly State of His Servants”

  1. These images are priceless … the way her hand is resting on his leg.And the gift we've been given … even more priceless.

  2. Yes and yes.BTW, the little fella is my son and the girl is the pastor's daughter. See how the little "former angel" borrowed her brother's shepherd attire for her own head covering? And my "little shepherd" set aside his former garb in order to be Joseph? A child's faith is so big.Thanks, Susan, for stopping by.

  3. Love the way he seems to be looking toward her–protective, concerned, tender, pensive–much in the pose the creche-makers position Joseph when they carve him. And she's really holding that stuffed animal.Love what you captured and love what you've shared.

  4. The pictures are just awesome! I was just going to ask you who these children were. The boy is your son? He's adorable. Simple. That's what I want this Christmas.

  5. This is a very powerful and touching story. I love what you point out — simple, ordinary, God-trusting love…that's what it takes.

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