By Bethany Lashbrook
This Week’s Verse: Luke 1:30-32, “But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High’”. (NIV)
Devotion:I wonder what exactly Mary was thinking at this moment? To become pregnant is amazing, but to become pregnant by the Holy Spirit – now how is that for a Christmas present? The bible tells us “For you [Lord] created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13, NIV). God had it all worked out in His plan. He would send His son, Jesus, to walk the Earth, teach His word, spread the Gospel, be baptized with water, save others through baptism of the Holy Spirit, and then ultimately die on the cross to save us from our sins.
And, his mother was to be Mary.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not putting more emphasis on Mary than Jesus. But, I am recognizing how she must have felt. I am a mother. I know God entrusted Clint and I to care for our children and teach them about Him.
Now, imagine your child WAS Him.
We don’t know much about Jesus’ birth beyond what little there is to say in the gospels. Luke records that “Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. (2:4-7, NIV) He goes on to say in verses 14-19 “When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
Mary knew He was special and although she couldn’t guess as to what was to become of her son, Jesus, she did manage to hold these moments near and dear to her heart. I can see Mary as Jesus turns into a toddler, then into a boy, and ultimately a young man – treasuring these little details of Jesus in her heart. Instead of worrying, she trusted. Instead of scolding, she took pride. Instead of being angry, she rejoiced.
I know with all the hoopla of Christmas, sometimes we get distracted with the small stuff. But, this year especially, Mary has been weighing on my mind. Let us try to remember Mary this year at Christmas. Let’s rejoice with Mary, in the delight of her Son, Jesus. Let us proclaim to the world with Mary that Jesus was here – that because of Jesus, we now could live with the Holy Spirit within us. Let us delight in little baby Jesus born in a manger (Luke 2:7). Let us learn from the Boy Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:41-52). And let us mourn with Mary as she watches her Son die on the cross (Mark 15:37). But – let us rejoice with Mary to proclaim, “He is Risen, He is Risen…” (Mark 16:5).
And He was named Jesus.
What a mighty God you are, Lord. How do we ever say thank you? May we all be blessed this Christmas by baby Jesus.
Applications: Celebrate Jesus with your family this week and enjoy the holiday blessings each and every one of us have. Merry Christmas!
Luke 2:8-14, “And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (NIV)