Merry Christmas, Mary

I LOVE how the old, old story never gets old.

How every time I look at it, my perception changes.

It changes how I see God and how I see myself.

Mary, travelling on a donkey.  Nine months pregnant.

Sleeping in a barn.  No room in the inn.

The First Noel

Think about it.

No electricity.  No running water.  Pretty sure you couldn’t build a fire inside to boil water or you’d set all that hay ablaze.

And it’s not just about the lack of modern conveniences or the sanitation of the place.

She’s a young woman far from home.  It’s her first baby and her husband has to deliver it.

No where in the Bible does it say that Mary was perfect, but come on…

God CHOSE her.  And she not only conceded to His plan, SHE EMBRACED IT.

 Luke 1:

46 And Mary said:

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
47 and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior,
48 because He has looked with favor
on the humble condition of His slave.
Surely, from now on all generations
will call me blessed,
49 because the Mighty One
has done great things for me,
and His name is holy.

I can remember the first time I really thought about Mary’s plight.  It was Christmas 1983 and I was 8 months pregnant, expecting our first child–and a suddenly I had a new perspective.

I can vividly remember standing at Mary’s Well in Nazareth, Israel in 1998.  The tour leader asked me to read Luke 1:26-49 to our group.  This was a well that provided the water for the twenty-five or so families that lived there at the time of Gabriel’s appearance to Mary.

It was my 38th birthday.  One that I will never forget, and one that made these words from Luke 1 come alive.

You don’t have to travel to Israel to have a perspective change.  My point is, God’s Word is not just a story, or history for that matter.  It is absolutely true, and it is history–HIStory.  It didn’t begin in Nazareth or Bethlehem, and it certainly doesn’t end there.  It is still changing hearts and lives today.

The Bible says that like Mary, if we choose to follow God and accept that Jesus is His Son, then we are saints of God.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood,
a holy nation, a people for His possession,
so that you may proclaim the praises
of the One who called you out of darkness
into His marvelous light.

 Once you were not a people,
but now you are God’s people;
you had not received mercy,
but now you have received mercy.

I Peter 2: 9-10

God, in His great love and mercy gave us the gift of His written Word so that we could understand just how much He loves us.  So we could truly understand this gift of Christmas–Jesus.

Many of us will celebrate the birth of Jesus and then just a few months from now, celebrate this same Jesus as He conquers death in the Resurrection.  His story changed history.  The king of glory came to change US.  He wants to reign in our hearts.  To change our perspective.

Baptist Church, Nazareth



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