Monday, December 22, 2014

Holiday devotional: Mary Pondered

Christmas is coming! Only three days away! Yet over 2,000 years ago, the first Christmas was celebrated on a starry, starry night in Bethlehem where the virgin Mary laid her sweet baby Jesus in a manger filled with hay. Yes, the Savior of the World, Jesus Christ was born through a virgin named Mary who was engaged to a man named Joseph. 

Mary and Joseph were poor in finances but rich in their relationship with God. They had faith more valuable than gold. It was their faith that kept them together when the angel of God told Mary that she would give birth to the Savior of the World and no this was not her fiance Joseph's biological child. However the process was pure and beyond our imagination. The Bible does not go into detail about how God sent His Son to Earth in the form of a baby carried in Mary's womb and delivered on that starry night in a stable filled with hay. But the Bible is clear on this, with God all things are possible (Philippians 4:13) and as the song by Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir on their Christmas CD says, it was the "birthday of a King!" 

What better reason to celebrate this Christmas season than to remember when this holiday was first created? And to hold on to the hope that no matter how crazy life in this world gets, God is still in control. If God can send His Son to be born, raised, minister to the sick and lost, then die and be resurrected to encourage His faithful followers and be humankind's High Priest and Mediator before God in Heaven (all of which completed the work of salvation) and then in turn He offers salvation to us as a free gift then of course God can keep you, bless you and deliver you from any trial and tribulation you may be facing!

But back to Mary as the Mother of Jesus. Mary was a very special woman. Despite her elevation of being the most favored woman of God and her willingness to be used by Him in His great plan to save the world, Mary was humble. She did not go around boasting and bragging that she was going to carry the Creator of all humankind in her womb and give birth to the long-awaited Messiah. And I'm sure she didn't try to one-up other mothers that she knew when talking about her child Jesus Christ. I mean seriously there's no greater title than your boy child being the Son of the Eternal King, right? Sure, doctor or lawyer, King of a Middle Eastern country or the President of the United States of America may be impressive titles but clearly God created all of those people who hold those titles yet He chose to collaborate with Mary to create His Son in human form. Yeah, Mary had plenty to boast about but she didn't. Mary did not boast. She stayed humble and faithful to God and she pondered this special mission God had given her in her heart (Luke 2:19).

Tonight, I'd like to share a different take on the Christmas story with you through the eyes of a mother. No, not Mary but Jaime Wright who is a woman with a love for words and Jesus Christ. Take it away Jaime...

Mary Pondered
A Christmas devotional written by Jaime Wright

There’s a popular Christmas song, “Mary, Did You Know?” I’ve always wondered what she knew, when she held Jesus in her arms, his dark eyes squinting in new birth and his tiny voice straining to make sure the world He had arrived. Did she know? All Scripture tells us is that she pondered it all in her heart.

I never understood that. Until Christmas 2009. My daughter was early. Too early. Although in many experiences, three weeks isn’t that unusual. In my daughter’s, she just wasn’t ready. To be born. To breathe. To cry.

How can a mother forget the croaking whimpers of a newborn with not enough air? The croons of Daddy coaxing, “breathe, Baby Girl, breathe”. Labor. Pains. Vomiting. Exhaustion. And now … impending death.

Mary looked at her boy. Newborn. His velvety hair, olive skin, wrinkled and innocent. A purity he would never lose. And eyes that were sharp, knowing. Mary pondered … impending death.

The room was a bustle of activity. My daughter was whisked away and then brought back to my room to be held on my chest for thirty seconds so she could bond with her mother’s scent. Then they wheeled her away to an ambulance. And I screamed.

The night was filled with the screams of mothers who had their babies stricken by the heinous King Herod. His jealous slaughter heralded the coming of the Messiah, sheltered and whisked away by angel’s warning. The violence. The murder. The blood. Always blood. And Mary pondered …

I limped into the NICU. The incubator was warm, soft light glowed. Her Daddy had been there four hours before I arrived. The nurse told me he had not moved. And in the warm glow, I saw it. My daughter’s finger, squeezing her Daddy’s finger, white-knuckled grip with no intention to let go. Daddy was her salvation.

And Mary squeezed His finger, with no intention of letting go. But she would have to let go. He was her Abba, her daddy, her Father. For He was her Savior. It was a dichotomy.

And Mary pondered … A Savior. A King. Her Son. Her baby would save the world.

Of course she didn’t know. She didn’t want to know. But she had this moment. A mother’s arms, full, in love, and a deep breath that her son, was God’s son. A gift she had been given that she would never regret. Jesus.


Author bio:
Professional coffee drinker Jaime Wright resides in the hills of Wisconsin writing spirited and gritty turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Her day job finds her a Director of Associate Sales, Development & Relations. She’s wife to a rock climbing, bow-hunting youth pastor, mom to a coffee-drinking little girl and a Sippy cup-drinking baby boy, and completes her persona by being an admitted Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Blogspot junkie.

Jaime is a member of ACFW, enjoys mentorship from a best-selling author, and has the best critique partners EVER! (Yes, that's an exclamation point.) She was a semifinalist in ACFW’s 2013 Genesis contest and that alone encouraged excessive celebration over extra espresso with hazelnut syrup.

In her "down time", Jaime reads voraciously, socializes incessantly, drinks coffee addictively, and overuses "-ly" words excessively.

Social media links:

Twitter: @Jaime_wright

Pinterest: jaimewright01

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