I do love Christmas. I love the lights, the people, the “specialness”of it all, but I wonder sometimes how Mary felt. As I ponder what that first Christmas looked like, I can imagine that Mary would have never dreamed herself to be there. I totally get it. Sitting in my stairwell in Germany, married to a Soldier, and homeschooling two kids was not where I imagined myself to be either.
But unexpected doesn’t mean bad.
The Angel had told Mary she would have God’s son. We’ve talked over the years about the challenge that might bring to Joseph and the interesting discussion that followed. Unusual, for sure. Add to that, though,that the Holy Spirit would come upon you and you would bear the Son of God. An intimidating idea to be sure, but the thoughts that went through her mind must have been crazy. Having never known a Messiah of the World or Son of God before, what is He going to look like? Will He know who He is from the outset? At what point will He be smarter than me? Maybe about the time He talks?
So many questions.
And yet in Scripture, the only question we see her asking during this time was when she asked the Angel how this would come to be since she was a virgin. A decent question, I think. But we don’t see her ask another. As she visits Elizabeth, who too is having an unusual pregnancy, they spend months together. I wonder about their conversations. Can you imagine? Chatting with your friend over coffee about Angels, visions, prophets, and the Savior of the World. It’s a lot.
As Mary walked through the pregnancy, God brought about a census, an inconvenience for sure, but part of God’s plan to check all the boxes regarding prophecy. It brought them to Bethlehem. They had questionable accommodations, their first child, and then those shepherds showed up. Random Shepherds from out in the field who knew exactly what they were looking for. So many things going on, but Mary still didn’t seem to ask a million questions.I might have.
I don’t know if she knew all the answers, knew none of them,or simply figured she would never understand it all, but she didn’t seem to ask. What she did do, though, is far more important.
“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”Luke 2:19
“The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him.”Luke 2:33
“But his mother treasured all these things in her heart.”Luke 2:51
Mary treasured, pondered, marveled, and was in awe at all that was unfolding around her. She was watching for what God would do and then tried to make sure she didn’t miss it, or forget. She tucked those memories into her heart because she would one day need them.
Mary obviously trusted and believed God, but she had some difficult days. She watched her son ridiculed, questioned, ostracized and then beaten and killed. She watched it all. She knew it would cost Him something to be the Savior of the World but I’m pretty sure she wasn’t tracking all of it.
The moments when she saw the amazing, the miraculous, the things only God could do she would tuck these things away. No doubt they caused her to worship and thank God, but the reminders of God’s goodness and love would hold her up in the most challenging of days.
This Christmas, as we celebrate all of the miraculous things of that first Christmas, I pray that we will look for and see the miraculous around us.
That we will take those moments, praise and worship God, and then tuck them away for the days to come when we need to be reminded of His goodness and love. He is still the same God. Thank goodness.