The Christmas season is upon us.
After a whole year, which seemingly sped by, Christmas is upon us again.
I'm thinking of Christmas in a different way this year, and it is partially due to the words that the pastor at our new church said this morning.
In essence, he invited us to forgo the hustle-and-bustle of the holiday season, to lay aside the commercialized busyness of Christmas and to enter into the season carefully.
He admonished us to actually be still and careful about this Christmas season in order to gain a new revelation of Him. I'd never thought of that before, but now, now that his words have really sunk into my heart, I'm thinking of Mary. Jesus' mother. The girl who gave birth to this Saviour.
I'm thinking that Mary was, first and foremost, as a soon-to-be Mama, just ecstatic to be with child. I mean, of course she was scared and anxious and confused, after all, she was already promised to Joseph, and now she was pregnant out of wedlock by the Holy Spirit! Who was going to believe that?? But she was going to be a Mama. And after she got used to that fact, after she had wrapped her mind around the amazing and astounding details, I think she gave herself permission to love the growing baby in her womb.
Does this post seem disrespectful? I'm sorry, but I've just been thinking a lot about Mary.
Look, she was going to be a Mama! And mamas the world over, no matter what century or time period or income class they happen to be in, mamas love their babies. Mamas are consumed with thoughts of their babies, with the anticipation and the excitement of preparing to welcome a new life!
Was Mary any different??
I believe that Mary felt about Jesus in her womb just like you and I do when we're with child! I believe she caressed her growing belly and talked to her baby and sang to Him. I can see her feeling and watching His every movement with wonder and awe, not because He was going to be the Saviour of the World, but first and foremost, because He was.....her baby.
Her Baby. Her sweet, tiny, much loved and highly anticipated Baby.
I believe that after the angel appeared to her with the most stunning proclamation she'd ever heard, I believe that she tucked the news away in her deepest heart and went about the business of just loving Jesus.
Just loving Him.
Because even though she was the Mother of the Son of God, she probably didn't see it that way. She nursed Him and bathed Him and changed His diaper and hugged Him and kissed his owies and cleaned His dirty clothes because He was her Son. Yes, He was Saviour, Redeemer, Ransomer of us all, but first and foremost.....He was her Baby.
I feel very close to Mary this season as I think about her softly singing lullabies to her baby. Mary takes an important role in my life this season as I think of her as a mama. It's such a sweet picture for me, to think of Jesus being cradled gently and rocked back and forth in Mary's arms. Mary wasn't divine, she was just the vessel that God chose to work through. Mary wasn't super spiritual, she was just a willing girl who God saw fit to hold the most amazing Gift we've ever known.
The fact that Mary responded to the angel, and to God, with such submission and humility makes me want to, as a mother, respond in kind to Him too. I want that sweet, gentle, lowly Jesus in my life too, to infuse me with His humbleness and to flow from me for all to see.
I'm contemplating this season carefully this year. I'm slowing down from frantic frenzy and being still this year. I'm hoping to offer myself as a vessel, just as Mary did, for whatever God wants to do in me. I'm quietly and keenly aware of the Baby Jesus, Emmanuel, I AM, in my life and asking Him....
Come, gentle Jesus, and may I be be, in Your sight, just a tiny bit as favored as Mary as I allow the sweetness and peace and beauty of the season to wrap around me and engulf me and Lord, may that faithfulness that is Your signature emanate from me.
May it be unto me as You have said.