Looking back; Moving Forward

Margot* celebrates the new year by reflecting on her past. Looking back allows her to take stock, reframe, and move forward with the things that have impacted her most as a Deaf person. One of those things is the birth of a Savior.

Christmas is the world’s most celebrated event. It is both a religious day of remembrance as well as an international cultural and commercial phenomenon. People around the world revel in the season with their own holiday traditions, family gatherings, and a familiar Bible story written in the Gospel of Matthew, known as the Christmas Story. It is a true time of reflection of the Savior’s birth.

The birth of Jesus is a firm foundation

which cannot be easily shaken.

Churches across the world rejoice in the iconic narrative of the poor carpenter pledged to a virgin girl named Mary and a baby who was born to save the world. Margot’s church was no different; Jesus was celebrated, but the meaning of his birth changed for her.

Recently, Margot’s pastor stepped in front of the church members to recite the account of a young couple’s engagement and an important visit from an angel. As he turned the pages of his Bible, Margot followed along, nodding her head in agreement, just like she had in previous years.

Later, a friend showed Margot the same story in her sign language through the Deaf Bible App.

 

“For Margot, everything changed.

She no longer thought of the birth of Jesus as a seasonal story

that people recite.

But as a significant and personal narrative connecting

all of humanity back to the

Savior of the world.” 

As the signs, emotions, and expressions flowed from the narrator’s hands and face, Margot choked back her tears. All those years she had just nodded and followed along. She had missed many elements of the story in the written pages. Her heart stirred as she watched the story unfold in the fluid movement of her language. The angel visiting Mary and announcing favor upon the virgin. The lowly couple giving honor and glory to God and surrendering their lives to Him. The details surrounding Christ’s birth were so clear in her language!

Margot finally understood why. She understood why God sent the pregnant couple away for safety and who visited the baby in the manger. She discovered the exact timing of God’s plan was for everything to work out for His glory. The Christmas Story in sign language gave Margot a firm foundation of faith standing on the birth of the Savior.

For Margot, everything changed. She no longer thought of the birth of Jesus as a seasonal story that people recite, but as a significant and personal narrative connecting all of humanity back to the Savior of the world. It is a firm foundation which cannot be easily shaken.

Because Bible content is available in Margot’s sign language, she can celebrate the new year, looking forward to her next Christmas with awe and wonder, the way the season is meant to be experienced.

“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:11

*Pseudonym

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