If you had a child, just one child, and you couldn’t be the one to hold it, nurture it, teach it, love it – whom would you entrust him/her to? Your hope, your baby, your legacy – left to another heart and set of hands. Who will cultivate the heart, mind and spirit of your child… who gets that privilege?
God had all mankind to pick from and He chose Mary. Have you ever asked ‘Why?’ What was there about this young girl that merited His faithful endowment of the training and raising of His only begotten Son?
This Christmas I wanted to know so I sat down and have been slowly reading the scriptures that surround her. I have found she was not only chaste, favored, blessed and faithful but:
1. She her relationship with the Lord was different from many who received messages from God’s messengers. When Gabriel showed up, the Word does not say she was afraid – however she is reflecting on his opening statement, even as he does the typical angelic greeting, ‘Do not be afraid…’.
2. She made quick decisions. As almost immediately upon receiving God’s words she took off to visit Mary, whom the Lord had said He was also blessing. It doesn’t say she went and asked her parents or Joseph… just that she left ‘in haste’ aka – ASAP!
3. She was sensitive to His Spirit, eagerly embracing His plan despite the conflict or personal inconvenience obedience might cause her. Rumors will spread when you are not yet ‘ completely’ wed but very pregnant.
4. She was prepared and at peace – with everything even as the birth unfolded and she found no inn, no room, no bed yet we find no whining, worrying or fussing. By forfeiting control she gained the promise of Micah 5… peace.
5. She was adaptable and prepared. She made the best of a stable and a manger. Resourcing them as needed with the one thing we know she had brought with her – swaddling clothes. With DIY ingenuity she turned a feed bin for livestock into a King-sized bed.
6. She had a heart and mind that pondered (reflected back upon) all she saw and heard. She tucked away words from a cousin, angels, Joseph, shepherds and strangers considering all things as pertinent to what God had done, was doing and was going to do.
There are layers to each of us.
Not totally unlike Mary we have incredible collisions with the Spirit of God. We have a few days worthy of mentioning/remembering in the years that follow that occasion… yet God was and is still working in our lives daily, even in those unmemorable moments. He will use our gifts, positive personality traits (not unlike He did Mary’s) to mold our hearts and shape the work of our hands as we invest in the lives of others.
This Christmas I am seeking more than snow, potlucks and family reunions… I am praying for and seeking out the MARY IN ME. For God has entrusted me, and you, with a mission as well.
I will not bear His Son into this world but I am called to share and bear witness of His Light. I am called to be transformed within and to reflect the working of His Spirit. To meditate and ponder the things of God. To rest in the peace of God regardless of the day brings.
This year may you and I truly find within our hearts a Mary… Christmas.