As I sat in church Sunday listening to the sermon based on the biblical events leading up to Christmas, I realized (I’m a little slow), that I have spent this advent season in a state like Mary did over 2,000 years ago – pregnant.
But, unlike Mary, I had been married for several years before my husband and I decided, together, to try to become parents. I was prepared (as much as you can be) for becoming pregnant. Mary wasn’t even married yet when the Angel came to her and told her she would give birth to a child – and not just any child, but the Son of God, our Savior and Messiah. How amazing is that??
Oh, and beyond that…Mary had to travel on a donkey for days before they arrived in Bethlehem, only to find that there was no room for them in the inn. So, she gave birth in a stable! And placed her newborn in a feed trough! And she had no ritzy birthing center or nurses or doctors around to help her, not to mention an epidural. Man, we have it good now, don’t we?
And Joseph, her betrothed, reacted like a typical man when he found out she was pregnant, and they had never been together. We’ll give him credit for coming around later, but he was ready to ditch Mary and try to save his own face. It wasn’t until an Angel appeared to him that he changed his tune.
Our pastor has been spending this advent season preaching on those present for the birth of Christ, and how that experience changed them. So far he’s preached about John the Baptist, Joseph, and the shepherds. Next week he’ll talk about the wise men. It’s easy to think about those moments at the manger, when shepherds and wise men came to worship the new baby, the Savior. But, I’m sure that their lives were forever changed based on that one night.
Just like my life will be forever changed by the birth of my child in a few months, my life was SAVED because of the sacrifice and obedience of Mary and Joseph. They trusted the angels that came to them, they trusted God, and they brought our Savior into this world so that he could die on the cross and give us eternal life. Wow!
Sure does put the Christmas season in perspective for me!
The Birth of Jesus Christ
18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[a] because he will save his people from their sins."
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"[b]—which means, "God with us."
24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus