Most of our children eagerly await Christmas morning. Barely sleeping the night before, they awaken before dawn and rush to the tree in wonder and delight where they meet stockings and presents and candy and fun. Their wishes are coming true. Their hopes are being realized. It’s the best day ever!
But, the first Christmas wasn’t like that. It was an awkward event for a young, teenage bride away from home, without a midwife, in a stable, at night. Forget clean sheets, soft pillows, and adjustable beds; it was straw piled on dirt floors, some old blankets, strips of swaddling cloth, and a feeding trough. And don’t forget a few enthusiastic shepherds showing up in the middle of the night with an incredible story of angels in the sky and how to find the baby Messiah in a manger.
Bethlehem was so overrun with the Roman census, a newborn was just one more Jew, another son of David to add to the growing tax base. Besides those crazy shepherds, no one noticed and no one cared.
Except forty days later in the Temple, Simeon and Anna noticed, and they cared enough to rejoice and prophesy over the Child. When the Magi arrived from the East several months later, they certainly noticed and they generously cared. And then there was Mary. She uniquely noticed and cared, hiding every memory in her heart, treasuring and pondering each one.
Christmas can be more than a festive end to an old year; it’s also the birth of a new year. Can we all be like Mary? Will we treasure, ponder, and prayerfully consider all that God has said and done for us this past year? Will we pray for His plans and promises to unfold without hindrance or delay? Will we willingly, wholeheartedly engage with Him?
“Yes. YES!” Resoundingly, we respond, “YES, WE WILL!!”
And one day all of humanity will notice and care as every knee bows and every tongue confesses that Jesus the Messiah is Lord.
(Luke 2:19; Philippians 2:10,11)
~ Peggy Lundy, writer
~ Deana Harvey, painter