Christmas Day is right around the corner. Are you ready? I usually get shopping done as early as possible. Our poor daughters-in-law bugged for grandchildren’s gift ideas, as I start inquiring around the 4th of July! Truly!
The virgin Mary starts her preparations early. After discovering that a miracle pregnancy occurs, she hightales it out of Nazareth, spending many months with godly relatives, Elizabeth and Zechariah. Elizabeth also is expecting a ‘blessed event’. She carries John the Baptist.
So, Mary settles in for the long haul. Did her relatives wonder if she’d ever go home? Probably not. People in that culture make hospitality their priority. My asking the question says something about me, however!
Mary’s Christmas begins with one of the most beautiful songs in all the Bible. Theologians called it the ‘Magnificat’, from Latin language, for Mary’s soul ‘magnifies’ the Lord. Her song tells us much about Mary herself. At a time when females have little access to literacy or education, Mary is versed in her Bible.
The ‘Magnificat’ (Luke 1: 39-56) is soaked in the Old Testament, especially the Psalms. She knows her Bible. Her parents have made this possible. Certainly not required in her society. She would have been well respected in home, family and village without any formal education.
But Mary aspires for more. She wants to know her God and her Bible. Mary’s Christmas will be girded in Scripture. Bound secure by her Lord’s promises. Think how her life will be topsy-turvy for as long as she lives because of this child. Not an easy life. Not at all. But Mary trusts her Lord. Her ‘…spirit rejoices in God my savior…’ (Luke 1:47). Mary’s Christmas will be merry because God is centered in the marrow of her being.
As the day arrives this week, open your Bible to Luke 1:39-56, and read of Mary’s Christmas. Bathe in His Word. Saturate in Scripture. No skimming allowed. Forget the speed-reading.
By the way, why not recall how much the Lord has given you…and me…this day of Jesus’ magnificence. Mull it over. It’s not easy in this confused, cluttered, muddied and muddled holiday. Try, as best you can, to pivot toward God’s great gift…Jesus! He’s worth the effort.
Thank you for Jesus, our Lord and Savior. In His name. Amen.