“And Mary pondered all these things in her heart.”
Knowing about the process of pregnancy and birth, I realize that Mary probably felt some pangs of preparation while riding that donkey through the countryside. She was uncomfortable and ready to rest. And being the mother of children I love more than my own life, I also know that my own children were worth being born in the most sterile conditions under the most favorable situations. Also knowing that things don’t turn out quite like you want them to, one of mine was almost born in the car.
This was no ordinary child who was making his appearance on that holy day. He was a King, destined to rule the earth. He deserved a king’s birth. Weren’t they making way for God Himself? The Son of the King of Glory, the Lord of heaven and earth, the Creator of All. Special attendants, private room and no money spared in the delivery.
But wait, this King was going to be born in obscurity as his mother grabbed handfuls of hay to ease her pain and probably grabbed her husband’s hand as well. No mention of any attendants at all. Joseph didn’t step up to the owner of the inn and say, “Hold on buddy. Do you know who we are? And you’re just an innkeeper.”
Humanity often wants its rights. We want our positions acknowledged. We want people to hearken to our every need. We are easily moved by the glorious and yet we pout at the humble situations we often find ourselves in.
Jesus came to fulfill His position. But remember, His position to fulfill included hanging on a cross. A most un-glorious death kept for thieves and ne’er do wells. He had no earthly goods and when He came to the world He was born in a manger among cattle and sheep. He continued in the world and the Word tells us, “the son of man has nowhere to lay his head” meaning He didn’t have a home to call His own. Not here. And then after His death, while He was redeeming the world and making a way for us all to be reconciled to Him His body was placed in a borrowed tomb.
Mary could have reminded people all the time of her great position and condition. The angel had spoken to her and explained her great calling. But “she pondered all these things in her heart”. What a lesson for us who are called of God. And if we are born again, we are all called. There is purpose and destiny to fulfill in our lives because we belong to Him. We could arrive on the scene and sing opera with the best of them, “Me. Me. Me.” We could talk about our blood line, our positions, our assets, our ancestors, our talents, and our rights. We could remind others everyday just how important we are.
But we’re not. We’re simply fantastically privileged participants in the greatest biography ever written. We are ne’er do wells who got called in to become more than we ever could be on our own. And as we seek to fulfill this destiny that the Lord has called us to, we are simply meant to reflect His glory. Just as the shepherds in that dark field at night reflected the glory that shone round about, we too are simply the backdrop for the King.
Oh beloved, it’s Christmas Eve. With all its greatness and with all your troubles, trials and disappointments, it could be less than wonderful. Except that you are destined to praise the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. You are chosen, you are blessed, you are redeemed. God did it all for love. God called you to Himself because He loved you. He humbled Himself and became an earthly man for you. He continued His path to death on a cross for you. He rose again so that you too can rise to newness of life. You are a magnificent display of His glory and grace! As you prepare the next day’s events, with pomp and circumstance, good food and lots of laughter, don’t forget to ponder all these things in your heart and rejoice and be exceedingly glad! This holy time is the best time to lay aside your worries and fears. He has it all covered for you beloved. He has it all worked out. He hasn’t forgotten or forsaken you. Pick up the King’s call and worship Him in the manger, worship Him at the cross and worship Him because He lives again. He’s coming back for you beloved, and He won’t return as a babe in a manger, but as a Mighty King to swoop you into His arms and carry you away to glory!
God loves you and He’s for you and that’s something that will carry you through all the days of your life, but especially now at Christmas as you remember the wonder of His extraordinary, out of this world gift of love, grace, peace and mercy just for you!
Psalm 95:6-7 Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our maker, for He is our God. We are the people He watches over, the flock under His care.
Matthew 2:11 They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped Him….
Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give His life as a ransom for many.
I Peter 5:6-7 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.
Psalm 70:4 Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; And let those who love Your salvation say continually, “Let God be magnified.”