Discover a new adaptation of Mary Did You Know?
“…the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.’” Luke 1:30-31 (Read the whole story)
Have you ever known a woman who is pregnant and whose baby is due around Christmas? Along with general anxiety regarding the delivery and health of her child, I wonder about other feelings and thoughts she may have. Will she rue that his or her birthday falls so close to Christmas? Will birthday celebrations get lost or muted amidst the hubbub of late December? Will the child feel cheated for not receiving gifts during another month of the year?
These matters only matter because of the holiday. What about the first Christmas? Have you ever wondered how Mary felt? Her anticipation must have been unique.
Mary learned of her pregnancy from the angel Gabriel. I wonder what Mary thought Jesus’ birth would bring. Did she expect hosts of angels trumpeting the news? Mary likely prepared her home for the delivery, expecting to have Jesus there. Did she anticipate a painful, awkward donkey ride to her in-laws’ town of origin? Could she ever have anticipated delivery in a barn? I wonder if she pondered how her God-child would look, act, live. Would he be like most kids? Could she ever predict he would be cherished and spurned, followed and chased, worshipped and demonized? Even with the Spirit of the Lord upon her, could she know that Jesus’ birth, while humble and simple, would be celebrated by millions upon millions for millennia? Could she have known that he would die a brutal death for her and our salvation?
We see these truths through history, and look forward to celebrating them. Yet like Mary we may not be able to predict all Christmas might bring, for we do not celebrate rituals, but the Christ-child, and when He is centre to the party, angels may appear.
Dear God, thank you for the model of Mary who not knowing all that was to come still entered into your plan to save the world. May my anticipation for Christmas this year be enlarged by her example. Amen.
Ask people near you what they anticipate from God this Christmas. Ask them what they think was going through Mary’s head as delivery day approached.
What are your expectations for Christmas this year?