Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Truly Holy Family

Recently I had the opportunity to play the part of the Virgin Mary in a live Nativity scene. It was such a beautiful and meaningful way to start out my Christmas Season. It made me think a lot about the Nativity Story. Now, of course, when we think of Christmas we think of it's namesake-Christ. And we should, He is the Savior of the world! But, this Christmas I have been focusing a lot on Mary and Joseph.

Mary was engaged to Joseph, some believe that she was as young as 15 years old! However, before they were married, the angel Gabriel told Mary that God had found favor with her and she was to bear the Son of God. During the play, I really tried to put myself in Mary's place and when the man playing the angel Gabriel said this to me, I kept thinking, "I am five years older than Mary was when she found out she was pregnant and I'm still not ready to have a baby anytime soon! I can't even fathom how I would respond to a statement like that. But, Mary said without question, "I am the handmade of the Lord, let it be done unto me according to your word."
WOW. Just like that. No questions asked.

Here are some things that I might have said if an angel were to spring this on me...
1. Are you sure that God wants me?
2. Wouldn't it be better to wait until after I'm married to Joseph?
3. How is this possible?
4. Are you SURE that God wants me?
5. What will I tell my friends and family?
6. I really don't think anyone's going to believe this...
7. How am I going to explain all this to Joseph?
8. Am I ready to be a mother?
9. What if I'm not a good mother?
10. Are you SURE that God wants ME?
Thank goodness no angels have appeared to me, right? God would probably be disappointed in my faith in Him. But Mary, bless her heart, she just accepted it right away with total confidence that God would take care of her and her family. And He did, by the way. 

And Joseph! What a Saint! Oh my goodness. 
Joseph found out about the pregnancy and was going to quietly divorce Mary, but after an angel came to Joseph in a dream, he willingly took Mary into his home, agreeing to be there for her no matter what. In the play, the man that played Joseph sang a song to the tune of "What Child Is This." He took my hand and sang to me, "Fear not, my love, for all is well. Together we'll care for Emanuel. My life is yours, your life is mine, together we are one." I feel like this is what Joseph would have really said to Mary. He loved her so unconditionally that he was willing to endure any ridicule or threat to his safety, just to provide for and protect Mary and Jesus, even though Jesus was not his biological son. 

Another thing that really struck a chord with me was the fact that during the play we got to use a real baby for the Baby Jesus. When the Kings came to bring their gifts to us, I was holding the baby because he was getting a little fussy in the manger and all of a sudden, one of the Kings started to sing, "Mary Did You Know?" First of all, I should mention that this is my all time FAVORITE Christmas song in the entire universe. The words are so beautiful and sitting in Mary's place beside the manger, I just kept thinking, "How could this tiny Baby possibly save the whole world? For thousands of years this Child who can't even keep His eyes open right now, will become the basis for so many good things in our sinful world. "

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.

Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man? 
Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand? 
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod? 
And when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.

The blind will see, the deaf will hear and the dead will live again. 
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb.

Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation? 
Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations? 
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven's perfect Lamb? 
This sleeping child you're holding is the great I am.

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