HOPE. PEACE. JOY. LOVE.
Saturday, December 12
Beth Ross, a member of RPC since 2012
So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. - Luke 2:16-19
As the Christmas season approaches each year, my heart is filled with joy. I have so many special memories of spending the Christmas season with family over the years. Now, as a mother, seeing the joy in the hearts of my children during the Christmas season makes it even more joyful.
As I reread the Christmas story in preparation to share my thoughts on the element of the story that has brought me joy, I couldn't help but focus on the story from the perspective of Mary, the mother of Jesus. After the angels appeared to the shepherds to announce the birth of Jesus, the shepherds decided to travel to Bethlehem and see the Christ-child. They found Mary, Joseph, and the baby in the stable. After their visit, they began to spread the word about this amazing child and everything the angel had said about him. But, according to the story, Mary kept quiet, treasuring their words and pondering them in her heart. It must have been beyond her ability to grasp that the sweet child in her arms was the savior of the world.
I can't imagine the joy that Mary felt in her heart. The birth of a child is a joyful experience for all, but knowing that this child was the son of God had to make her very proud. Although she must have felt joy, I imagine she also felt fear. All first-time mothers are fearful of what is yet to come, fearful they will not do a good job or be a good mom. But Mary's fear must have been extreme, as she was not yet married at the time of conception from the Holy Spirit. However, joy is celebrating when you want to fear.
Dear Lord, help give us the courage to resist feelings of fear and celebrate life's blessings through feelings of joy. Although our blessings likely come with challenges to overcome along the way, with God's love and support, our fears will be overcome by joy. Amen