This time next week #Christmas will be done. The historical day that changed the lives of generations. For my larger family, the celebration together is being deferred to this summer, when hopefully we can all get together for some fun without masks and the worry of disease. For my husband, son, and I, it will be a quiet holiday together. In the little house we’ve been renting since July that has no room for a big tree. That’s ok our little #tree will shine brightly. We’ll be together, have our favorite snacks, a few of our traditional cookies, and presents, all the while anticipating our own big event. One we’ve been #praying about and working towards all year. The move to our new home.
Amid masked meetings with our builder, a house blessing event that had us socially distancing, God has guided conversations and frustrations. Around us, the world has been stifled by a #pandemic. We’ve had our share of pandemic stress but have carefully navigated through it always remembering that God is in charge and it’s our role to lean into Him and show His grace to others who have had a much rougher time this year.
All this anticipation makes me wonder about Mary’s anticipation, curiosity, and maybe a little fear, of what life will be like raising the Son of God. A young girl herself, did she feel inadequate? The Bible doesn’t tell of any additional visits from reassuring angels, but I wonder if the Holy Spirit didn’t guide a few conversations with Mary and her mother or other older women in the community. No doubt, Mary would have helped with younger siblings. But it’s not the same when it’s your child; your responsibility.
I’m rambling a bit, but in that stable with stinky animals, on a quiet night, after a long journey (emotional and physical) and the crowded little town of Bethlehem, when a young girl gave birth with only her husband and the grace of God to guide, did she anticipate all the things that come with normal parenting? And then did she worry about how she would ensure God’s plan would go the way He wanted it to?
Be encouraged to take some time over the next week to be still. To put aside the crazy, unanticipated year we’ve had and consider the first Christmas. The fear and anticipation of Mary and Joseph. The impact this event has had on you, on the world. Was it worth the stress and fear that Mary and Joseph went through? Mary watched as this same child grew to heal, love, and show grace to those the world cast out. While watching Him die on the cross, did she fear that it had all been for nothing? Or did she remember that her Son was not made for this world, but to save it? And God is faithful to use every tear for a greater purpose.
And as we finish out this 2020 year of fear and anticipation, remember the hope that Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection brings. “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all,” 2 Corinthians 4:17.
This week anticipate the coming celebration of the birth of a child, who changed both the course of history and the journey into our future.
All the best,