And Mary said: "My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me -- holy is his name. Luke 1:46-49
But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:19
It is time to get the house ready for Christmas. I used to decorate every room -- even the bathroom. Now the family room is just about it. I put snowmen out and they can stay up until the end of March. Of course the tree. And the nativity. This particular nativity has been a part of 40 years of celebrating the birth of Jesus.
I open the box. Everything is there, just as it was packed away. One sheep has the end of a leg broken off and the manger has been glued a few times, but the pieces are all there.
When Bill and Terri were little, they acted out the Christmas story with this nativity. They would have the Wise Men coming in from one room and they placed the sheep and cow so they could see into the manger. I once found Jesus wrapped in a Kleenex, secured with a rubber band, because they thought the baby Jesus was cold. Yes, memories of Christmas come when I open this box.
Then I pick up Jesus. Gently I hold the baby Jesus and picture Mary ---
Mary looked at the baby, cradled in her arms
Knowing she could not protect him from harm.
Mary looked at the baby, so perfect, so small
Ten fingers, ten toes -- but that was not all.
She saw the gifts God had bestowed upon this child
Eyes that could see -- see into the heart
Hands that could heal -- heal the body and soul
Shoulders that were strong -- strong to carry the sins of the world
Feet that were sturdy -- sturdy to carry him on his planned journey
And Wisdom -- And Compassion -- And Patience -- And Humility.
As she held the baby, she looked closely at God’s Son
This perfect baby, so small to be the Chosen One.
But, with head bowed and love in her heart, Mary rejoiced.
“Jesus will call me Mother!”
QUESTIONS OF THE DAY
What emotions did Mary have? Read the Christmas Story (Matthew chapters 1 and 2 and Luke chapters 1 and 2) and then think about how scared she must have been. (Would anyone believe her story? Would Joseph?) How did she feel when Elizabeth called her 'Blessed among women?' What would it have been like to travel and then find no room? What would it have been like to hold the Son of God? Take time to put yourself in Mary's place. Do you feel differently when you try to feel the Christmas Story instead of just reading it?
Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.
LET US PRAY
Dear Mighty One, You chose Mary to be the mother of your Son. Let me be like Mary and have a spirit that rejoices. Let me be a humble servant. Open my spirit and allow me to feel Christmas. Allow me to feel Christmas in my heart. Then allow me to humbly accept the gift you gave all of us -- Your Son Jesus. Amen