Mary. You know, I think she was quite a person. I was thinking about her last night as I was blu-tacking my newest Nativity set on to a shelf. (That makes five in total I think. NO ONE can say that they don't see anything of the original Christmas story when they visit this house at Christmas)
I re-read the beginning of Luke and was amazed to see how much of her early journey with God was so counter intuitive to what would usually be expected.
When the Angel first visits to tell her of her pregnancy, she asks how, but once she's told, there's no "I don't fancy this, think of the trouble it will cause" Or "Are you sure? Because I will need some kind of proof - otherwise - you know - what will Joseph think?" She is certain of what she has been told, and full of praise for the miracle she is about to witness, sets her face forward to meet head on anything that is about to happen.
She leaves with Joseph when heavily pregnant. Leaves her mother - and the women who would certainly have been her birth partners behind and ploughs on alone; possibly with a man who was still eyeing her sideways and wondering if he had really heard the whole truth. Yet she is still determined to see this through. He own personal hardship does not dim the vision she has been given.
When the shepherds came, all full of stories of angel choirs and confirmation of all that she had been told, she could have stood up and shouted - "See, I told you so!" but the Bible says she kept it all in her heart - not to needing to justify herself.
It was, obviously, a special and different time. God would see his plans come to pass and Mary would have his protection. Sometimes when I look at her and what was already within her - it seems that God saw something in this woman and picked her out - something neither she nor those around her were maybe aware of. There are maybe lessons here for all of us about what God sees in us and what we see in ourselves. What we feel is achievable and what God knows is achievable. It's switching from one track to the other that is the challenge for us.
Part of A Pause In Advent 2015.
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