Mary’s Little Christmas
It’s that time of year again—the one we wait for, plan for, and countdown to starting December 26 of last year. Christmas is a lot of people’s favorite season. Everyone seems to be so joyful and kind. As wonderful as it is in most cases, it seems to be a little extra sweet for children. When I was a child, this time of year was filled with more excitement and expectancy than my Christmas pajamas could handle. The lights, the cookies, the Toys R Us special catalog all had me wishing it was Christmas every day.
As I get older, Christmas is all that and more to me because I realize what a wonderful meaning there is attached to it and why we celebrate. Children often associate Christmas with Santa, gifts, and snowmen, but as our reality changes with age, so does the authenticity and true meaning of it all. We celebrate a Gift that will forever keep on giving that was born that night, but to one young lady, this unfolding story meant a whole lot more.
I can only imagine Mary being overwhelmed and under prepared at the situation at hand. She was stuck somewhere between that innocence of childhood and becoming an adult. While most teenage girls her age were busy conversing about what they heard at the market or how their day was going, Mary was being visited by an angel with news that would forever change her life.
At first encounter, she was frightened. It didn’t make sense. Why her? Why this? Why now? What would her family think? What would society say? All fears were laid aside when she realized the weight of her calling measured more than the extra pounds of a growing baby. Carrying Jesus wasn’t going to be easy, but she was chosen and she knew that the Savior of the world was coming and she was a conduit that would deliver the miraculous. Jesus coming was a good thing. The world needed saving and soon He would be here. In an unlikely manner, hope was on the way.
“And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people’” (Luke 2:8-10).
Emmanuel—God with us—was born in a stable, surrounded by animals in a city filled with unsuspecting people that made no room for Him. That starry night, Mary’s little Christmas changed the world and is continuing to do so.
I am reminded of the words from a popular song I have heard since childhood that resonates with new meaning. “Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water? Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters? Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new? This child that you’ve delivered, will soon deliver you.”
The truth is, Mary didn’t know as she rode the back of a donkey to an unfamiliar place what this child was going to accomplish. Like all of us, she learned and grew with Jesus every day; we walk with Him and learn from Him.
Today, thousands of years later, wise men still seek Him. In an ever-changing society, we pause to remember that first holy night when love came down. He was born. He hurt, He hungered, He empathized with our pain and longing. He was familiar with our everyday needs. He gave His life for us, and he ascended back into Heaven. Just like that blessed day so long ago, we await His coming but not with fear. Together we should anticipate and share His return with good news and great joy.
The young girl carried the infant for a time and was a vessel like none other. Now, we carry Jesus with us everywhere we go. We are His hands and feet and His messengers. We are to share Him and take Him on the road prepared for us, even the places that don’t seem to make room for Him.
Everyone is equipped for this journey. Mary rode the back of a donkey and gave birth in an unembellished stable. There was no Instagram or Facebook documenting her accomplishments or how honored she was to be chosen. No one “liked” her activity or commented on what she was doing. She was just humbly carrying her Savior to new places. For that reason, she will never be forgotten. It’s not about your status, it’s about servitude; it’s about willingness to answer the call.
This December as you spend time with family and tear open presents, take some time to remember Mary’s little Christmas and the ultimate gift and good news we should unboastfully carry with us and share every day as we await His arrival. You’ve got everything you need to do what He has asked of you, no matter how big the task might seem. You never know, it could change the world.
Now, go have yourself a merry little Christmas.
Rachel Skirvin is a lover of travel, nachos and the gospel. She is a graduate of Urshan College and will most likely always call it Gateway. She just recently married her best friend and together they are serving at the Pentecostals of Cooper City in South Florida.