“Merry Christmas” takes on new meaning when we consider the nine months leading up to Mary’s Christmas. She was visited by an angel, overcome by the Holy Spirit, and informed she was pregnant with the Son of God. She left home for three months and then became reunited with her fiancé. While nine months pregnant, she traveled by donkey to an unfamiliar village and gave birth in a smelly cave joined by a group of strangers from a local field.
I would have hollered, “I’m so stressed out! Get those smelly animals out of here! Somebody get my MOM!” But in Doctor Luke’s Gospel he recorded that Mary pondered and treasured all these things in her heart. How did she do that? How can we follow Mary’s example and treasure and ponder our Lord’s birth no matter what’s going on around us?
Perhaps the answer is found in the script of her birth announcement*:
Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you. Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.
How can this be, since I am a virgin?
The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. For nothing will be impossible with God.
Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.
Mary doesn’t even address that this prophecy could be a death sentence. She simply replies, “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.” Maybe that attitude was the key to her ability to ponder, treasure, and experience the joy of being face to face with the Son of God.
It’s December 2nd. What kind of stress are you facing? Do you need the reminder, “Nothing is impossible with God?” Maybe we all need to remember that God has a plan for each of our lives and confidently say, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as You have said.”
And perhaps that’s the best way to have a M-A-R-Y Christmas.
*Scripture passage from Luke 1 NASB and NIV. Try having a read-through with your family, remembering to emphasize that “Nothing is impossible with God!”
*Affiliate links included.
About Ann Stewart
Ann just won the Christy Award for Best Debut Novel of 2017 with Stars in the Grass, originated AMG’s Preparing My Heart series, and writes “Ann’s Lovin’ Ewe” for The Country Register. When she's not writing, she's waving her arms directing musicals, teaching middle schoolers, or watching UVA Basketball, This is Us, or Madam Secretary. In her free time she hangs out with her husband, raising two lovely daughters and a whole flock of fuzzy sheep on Skye Moor Farm, in Virginia--where unscripted drama provides plenty of entertaining material.
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