Monday, December 21, 2009

The Reality of the Nativity

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about the circumstances in which our Lord and Savior came to this earth. Appropriate for the season, sure, but I have to admit that this year it has more to do with being the mother of a 13 year old daughter. As a child, I pictured Mary as a woman grown. As a teenager, she still seemed inexplicably older and wiser than I. This is the first year, I can honestly say that reality hit and hit hard. Mary was very likely the same age, or a bit older than my own daughter. Wow. It is so hard to imagine that one so young carried such a burden, and carried it with such trust in God. She heard the impossible and listened. She was asked the impossible and obeyed. She was given a task unimaginable and she saw it through with grace. She put her very life at stake - adultery was punishable by stoning.
Every year, around this time, I love to read Two from Galilee. This year, I read A Lineage of Grace as well. Two from Galilee was a favorite of mine from the time I first read it when I was 12 years old. A Lineage of Grace is a compilation of a five series set written by Francine Rivers. The book covers five women in the lineage of Jesus Christ, with Mary, of course being the final story told. Both of these authors do an excellent job of reinforcing the fact that the events that unfolded in that stable were very real. Mary and Joseph were actual people, seeking to obey God, not knowing how their story would end. The journey from Nazareth was long and dusty. The city of Bethlehem was crowded and frenzied. Mary was young, pregnant and in labor. Joseph was in desperate need of shelter for his wife and coming son. The stable was dirty and smelly, far from an ideal place to give birth. I'm sure that their trust in God remained strong - but they were human, too. Do you think they wondered, "Where is God in this?" "This isn't what we thought would happen." If they did, can you imagine the joy they felt when the shepherds came with glorious confirmation that God was, indeed, working wonders and standing firm on His promises.
Think about it. Won't you?

1 comment:

e-Mom said...

Good reads! Mary and Joseph were indeed human. Life was very difficult in those days.

I also like to reflect on the fact that the Lamb of God was born in an animal stable. And also the angels announced the Ultimate Shepherd's birth to common shepherds in the field. God gives man lots of clues...