The Nine God Conversations of Christmas

By: Tania Harris

God was doing a lot of talking at Christmas time. What if no-one had been listening?

Have you noticed how much of the Christmas story hinges on God’s conversations with the key characters and how they responded?

1 – God Spoke to Mary

This famous God conversation started it all. God spoke via an angel to a young woman named Mary in the backwater town of Nazareth. It was a mind-blowing dialogue to say the least. Mary had been called to birth God’s promised Messiah. The child would be conceived by the Holy Spirit and bring God’s kingdom of love, joy and peace to the world (Luke 1:26-33).

Mary’s faith-filled response set the pattern for many God conversations to come; “be it unto me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38) This wasn’t just an emotional moment. It was a heart posture that would sustain her through a thirty-plus year journey culminating in a cross and an empty tomb.

2 – God Spoke to Zechariah

Our next God conversation begins in the Temple miles away in Jerusalem. God spoke via an angel to a priest named Zechariah (Luke 1:1-23). After years of barrenness, God said Zechariah’s wife Elizabeth would conceive a son who would go on to prepare the way for the Messiah. This was magnificent news for Zechariah and his wife, but sadly his skepticism got in the way of enjoying it fully.

3 – God Spoke to Elizabeth

Five months after Zechariah’s God conversation, God spoke to his wife Elizabeth. The Spirit announced the coming Messiah just as her cousin Mary came to visit (Luke 1:39-45). Elizabeth’s faith-filled response ushered in a wave of joy and meant that the two women were able to share in the journey of faith together.

4 – God Spoke to Joseph

Another God conversation served to protect Mary from potential disgrace and destitution as an unmarried mother. God spoke via an angel to Mary’s fiancé Joseph who was understandably troubled by her pregnancy. With a divine explanation for his wife’s plight, Joseph was able to respond in faith and made the decision not to split from his betrothed.

5 – God Spoke to the Shepherds

The God conversations continue in an unlikely field outside Bethlehem. First via a single angel and then a whole chorus, God announced the birth of a baby wrapped in cloths and lying nearby in a lowly manger. The shepherds’ response of faith led them to visit the scene themselves and return with songs of awe and wonder.

6 – God Spoke to the Wise Men

Another unlikely God conversation with the wise men occurred soon after Jesus’ birth. These sojourners from the East didn’t even know the God of the Jews but had persisted in following the star to find the promised king. After presenting their gifts to Jesus, God spoke to them in a dream not to report back to King Herod as planned, but to return to their country via another route (Matthew 2:12). Their obedience to the Spirit saved the life of Jesus and his family and given Herod’s murderous reputation, perhaps even their own.

7 – God Spoke to Simeon

God continued the conversation with a devout and faithful man called Simeon. Fulfilling a long-held promise that Simeon would see the Messiah before he died, the Spirit spoke to him to visit the temple just as Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to be dedicated (Luke 2:22-35). Simeon wells up with joy as he witnesses God’s words coming to pass firsthand and hears God speak again about Jesus’ calling as the light of the world.

8 – God Spoke to Anna

God spoke about to another woman at the temple too. Anna was an elderly widow who loved to worship God “day and night.” Just as Simeon had done, Anna heard God speak about Jesus’ destiny to all who would listen (Luke 2:36-38). God’s message about the significance of Jesus’ birth was becoming clearer and clearer.

9 – God Spoke to Joseph (Again)

In our final set of God conversations, God’s warning to the wise men about King Herod was repeated with Joseph. In a dream God spoke to Joseph to escape Bethlehem and go to Egypt since Herod was scheming to kill the newborn king (Matthew 2:13-14).

Later, God spoke in another dream telling Joseph it was safe to return home. Kind Herod had died and no longer posed a threat to their son (Matthew 2:19-20). On both occasions Joseph obeyed, packing up his family and did what God said.

What About You?

The Christmas season is littered with God conversations. God spoke his plan again and again to see it come to pass.

But what if they hadn’t listened?

What if they hadn’t followed?

Thankfully, the Christmas characters responded in faith to what God has said. Because of these nine God-conversations, our Christmas cards show Jesus alive in Mary’s arms and we sing songs heralding our Saviour’s birth. Christmas pans out the way it was supposed to.

Like Mary, Zechariah, Elizabeth, Joseph, the shepherds, the wise men, Simeon and Anna, God wants to speak to each us. Like them, God is calling us to be involved in bringing his plans to fulfilment. All we need to do is listen and follow (John 10:27).

What is God speaking to you about this Christmas?

Article supplied with thanks to God Conversations.

About the Author: Tania Harris is a pastor, speaker, author and the founder of God Conversations.

Feature image: Photo by Dan Kiefer on Unsplash