Extended reading: Luke 1:26-38
Devotional reading: v. 38
“For some people, Christmas is just another, regular day. They don’t believe in any form of the holiday and just see it as a time to spend with family and friends. For these individuals, Christmas is usually filled with nothing more than normal traditions like exchanging gifts, eating large meals, and watching movies.”
“Christmas is a time of year that evokes a sense of joy and happiness in many people. Children, in particular, feel this festive feeling as they anticipate the big day. They look forward to waking up on Christmas morning to see what Santa has left for them under the tree. But how do children really view Christmas? From their perspective, it can be interpreted as a day where they receive gifts from Santa and get to spend quality time with their family.”
As interesting as these views of Christmas are to us, I wonder what the view of the participants in the actual event would be like. For example , Mary.
We read in these verses of Luke’s gospel that an angel was sent to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to give a message to a virgin named Mary. Although she was “legally promised to Joseph” (betrothed) they did not have sexual relations. What’s his message to her from God? Only that she has found favor with God and because of that she will conceive in the womb and “will give birth to a son, and you will call his name Jesus.”
I can’t imagine how that news hit her. We only get a small picture of her reaction to his greeting in verse twenty-nine. “But she was greatly perplexed at the statement, and was pondering what sort of greeting this might be.”
While she is pondering what’s been said to her by an angelic being, he continues to speak and communicates to her something totally unheard of and humanly impossible: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore also the one to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.”
Mary, without the interaction of a man and solely by an act of God is going to become pregnant, but not with an “ordinary “ child by any means. She is going to give birth to the Son of God, Emmanuel! The One who “the Lord God will give the throne of his father David. 33 And he will reign over the house of Jacob ⌊forever⌋and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
We can’t begin to fathom what she experienced in her heart, mind, and body that day. She is going to be the vessel God uses to bring forth His Son into a lost and decaying world to redeem mankind unto Himself. Christmas begins with the birth of a baby, Jesus, but ultimately is about the cross He bore to fulfill all righteousness on our behalf and in our place!
It is amazing to me that she didn’t faint, run, or try to get out of it (I’m thinking of Moses). Rather we get a clear picture of her view of Christmas.
38 “So Mary said, “Behold, the Lord’s female slave! May it happen to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.”
She may not have understood it all perfectly, but she was willing to be used by God to fulfill His plans. As crazy as it all may have sounded, Mary walked by faith in what the Lord revealed to her! She understood, to some degree, that this day, the birthday of God’s Son, was no ordinary, superficial, or self-centered event. Rather, it was a day to ponder the greatest expression of God’s love to mankind. “But Mary treasured up all these words, pondering them* in her heart” (Luke 2:19).