I will tell you now, the tears streamed down my face as I read Beth’s breath-taking view of the “holy night.” My favorite scripture in this text is vs. 19: “But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.” For me, this would have been very hard to do, because many times I ponder out loud – you can just ask my husband or Angie for that matter. When I’m worried I want to talk about it, sort of get it off my chest. If I’m excited I can’t hardly keep it in. I’m not quite as bad as Angie though. Let me give you an example, but don’t tell her I said this, but sometimes she might get me a surprise and she just can’t wait to give it to me. She’ll say things like: “Do you want to know what it is?” And I might say, “No just keep it a surprise, because I like surprises.” She can’t stand for me to say that, but she just can’t hardly wait! Now on the other hand if I get her a surprise, I won’t tell her. I like to keep her guessing, but I’m really dying to tell her, too. But Luke writes, “Mary kept all these things in her heart.” To be so young, Mary was very wise.
When the shepherds came to visit with their wide-eyed stories about the angels, I doubt if it startled Mary and Joseph. Somehow, they were prepared in their hearts for His birth, for His coming. They did not know the exact day or hour, but none-the-less, they were ready. I may be getting on another topic here, but it’s a good thought, you probably know what I’m about to ask. Are you ready? As a little girl, I remember hearing my grandmother, a.k.a. “Mamo,” testify in church and her last sentence would be, “Pray for me that I’ll be ready should He come or call.” She was! He did call her home, and I’m praying that same prayer, that I will be ready.
The movie screen kept rolling while I read today’s devotion, I pictured in my mind so clear a young mother holding her infant with that sweet look in her eyes, as she tenderly caresses the thin, delicate skin of her newborn. I worked in a nursery of a hospital on the night shift for two years, and I saw a lot of babies born. It was always a privilege to take the infants to their mother’s room for their first visit. Before I would take them out to their mommies, I would give them a good bath and put a little Johnson & Johnson baby lotion on them. They would always smell precious. I loved to watch the mom’s faces after I placed their sweet- smelling newborn in their arms. The first-time mom’s are always full of questions, and I would answer them all, the best I could. To me they were all beautiful, no matter if they were red and wrinkled. My favorite part of all was when the mother’s would hold them in their arms and look into their little faces and kiss them. I imagine Mary had that look in her eyes, too. It is hard to fathom she delivered her son / her Saviour! Oh, how I would have loved to been her nurse!
Father, thank you for sending your beloved Son to this earth so we could have eternal life. Thank you for planning a future with us in mind. You are so awesome! I pray for everyone that joins us today that you can remind them of your love. If someone is weighted down with heavy burdens, Lord help them cast them on you- lighten their load. If someone has decisions to make and they don’t know what to do, Lord brighten their path. Most of all, help us be ready should you come or call. I give you all the glory, honor, and praise. In Christ’s name – Amen!
Keeping the Faith,
Picture from “Women Health Matters” website