From an isle in the Pacific to the United Kingdom and all the places in between,my journey has included windy deserts,windy beaches,large cities,and tiny towns.It's no wonder that I've grown to love new places and new experiences. Always the new guy, never the expert,but finally becoming comfortable with being different; as odd as a seagull in the mountains,I share perspectives that could only be gained in my own Nikes.
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Last year, I wanted to write about the first Christmas from Mother Mary's perspective. I read what I could about her in the scriptures. I used my own experiences and feelings as a mother to relate to what her experience may have been like. This year, I share it with all of you. Merry Christmas!
Mary, so pure and virtuous, was visited by an angel who told her that
God has chosen her to be the mother of the Savior of the world. Her
feelings of unworthiness must have shown on her face for the angel
reassured her that she had found favor with God.
was told that her son would be great, the Son of the Highest, that he
would reign over the house of Jacob forever. Of course, every mother
hopes the best for her child, but did Mary know what her son would
have to bear as he fulfilled his role as the Savior of all mankind?
she realize right then, the implications this would have on her
betrothal to Joseph? Yet would she, or could she, even for a second,
have refused this heavenly call to motherhood? Of course not. She
knew that no matter the difficult things she would have to deal with,
God would be there to take care of everything. So she answered the
awaiting angel, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it unto me
according to thy word."
now with child, visits her cousin Elizabeth, whose own pregnancy was
such a welcomed miracle. Upon Mary's arrival, Elizabeth's baby leapt
in her womb and she was moved by the Spirit to pronounce Mary blessed
among women. She was honored that the mother of her Lord should
come to her. They found great joy in each other's company and in
praising and magnifying the Lord. A few months later, Mary returned
home where she faced the reality that Elizabeth's miracle was much
easier for others to accept than the miracle growing within her own
must have loved her dearly. He loved her so much that he refused to
shame her openly and publicly. While he pondered on how to secretly
release Mary from their betrothal, the angel of the Lord appeared to
him in a dream saying, "Fear not to take unto thee Mary thy
wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost."
Mary needs nothing more. With the support and love of her husband and
knowledge that the Lord God would be ever watchful as the long
foretold prophecies played out, this young mother could now enjoy and
revel in the expectations of the new life they would welcome into
their home. Her heart skipped with excitement when her baby moved
within her. She made their house a home and prepared the necessary
items for the upcoming birth.
to Bethlehem was so very tiring. Mary had to work to stay balanced on
the donkey which Joseph led along the path. Being her first
pregnancy, Mary would be completely unfamiliar with the physical
signs that her time was approaching. This was a mandatory expense of
time, however, and knowing her husband's heart was full of worry and
compassion for her condition, Mary tried to keep her spirits up as
the baby weighed heavily down on her.
the town of Bethlehem, they were both aware that the time had come.
Their baby Jesus was soon to make his appearance. The town was
crowded with people and the only place Joseph could procure for his
traveling company to abide was already occupied by the tired animals
of other travelers. Joseph did his best to help his wife through the
trying delivery of her firstborn son. He found clean hay to place in
an unused manger and sought out clothes in which to swaddle the baby.
Silently, he thanked the Lord for the mild temperatures.
Mary aware of the angels in attendance? Were her pains reduced by an
intervening, loving Heavenly Father? Did she have any woman to attend
to her with comforting assurance that all was going well? When her
final pains subsided, was she rewarded by having the warm, tiny
infant placed upon her chest? Her tiny Jesus, foretold of for
centuries, was now in her arms, her heart already bonding
eternally with his.
watched as Mary tended their newborn son. There still lingered a very
special feeling in the room, as if the doors of Heaven had been left
ajar. Being evening, they were surprised to hear voices of men
approaching. Joseph went out to belay any unwanted intrusion on the
peacefulness his wife was finally able to enjoy.
met the shepherds just outside the entryway. His eyes widened in
surprise when he heard them say they were looking for the baby who
would be lying in a manger. They started all talking excitedly and
Joseph caught the words "angel", and "sign", and
"Savior". He asked them to wait while he checked to make
sure that Mary was presentable. Joseph returned and they all
reverently entered the room where the shepherds quietly expressed
amazement that they were viewing exactly what the angel had described
to them out in their fields.
shyly looked up at Joseph, then he looked over to the men and asked
them to please tell them everything. They spoke of the fear they felt
as they noticed the dark of the night pierced by brightness and a
vision was opened up to them. They spoke first of one angel who told
them to fear not for he brought good tidings of great joy. The
angel had said that a Savior, which is Christ the Lord, had been born
that day and that they would find the babe in Bethlehem wrapped in
swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. Next, they spoke of a sudden
multitude of angels all praising God and saying, "Glory to God
in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." When
the vision ended, they had unanimously decided to go right then and
see this thing which the Lord had made known to them.
looked down at her little babe. She listened as Joseph continued to
speak with the shepherds. He shared with them their own visions of
the angel. Mary recounted in her mind her visit with Elizabeth. She
committed to memory what the shepherds had shared with them.
She stored all these special things in her heart so that as her child
grew, she would be able to share them with him.
she softly caressed her baby's fine hair, Mary fought back tears. Her
heart was full. Every mother's baby was a miracle, but this miracle
was not just for her. This miracle was for all of mankind.