We recently watched the Nativity story together as a family. Wow! It stopped me in my tracks, and although it was hard to understand the words at times, touched my heart in a very real way.
One Family, One Journey. One Child who would change the world forever.
It was so good for me to emotionally go on that journey with Mary & Joseph. Can you imagine how difficult it was for Mary, an unwed teen, to be scoffed by her friends who think she’s nuts, when she says she has never been with a man, but is pregnant anyways? Or having to tell her parents the big news: Did she wait until she was showing, or tell them right away?
How about feeling the threat of DEATH by stoning looming over her head, should Joseph choose to file charges against her. I wonder, since her parents choose Joseph as betrothed, does she even know him well at this point? Or love him? Does she know enough about him to think he’ll believe her story? How scary to not know what will happen next!
Although Joseph’s initial reaction was to break the engagement, totally acceptable in that day, he treated Mary with such kindness. What a gentleman! He didn’t want to cause her further shame, so he decided to act quietly. I am so glad God chose to send an angel to Joseph in a dream, to verify Mary’s story, so he could be reassured that his marriage to her was God’s will. When the angel explained that the child within Mary was indeed conceived by the Holy Spirit, that his name would be Jesus and that he was the Messiah, God with us, did he freak out!? Did he sit in wonder and awe? Do you think he lay awake the rest of the night thinking of what his life with Mary was going to be like? Parents of THE MESSIAH? That is some heavy thinking for the middle of the night! He willingly took Mary to be his wife, knowing they were being looked down upon in their town. Maybe this noble quality is one of the reasons God chose Joseph to be the earthly father of Jesus.
And later, as they are married and traveling to Bethlehem, I was shocked to see Joseph’s bloody, calloused feet. But why wouldn’t they be? They walked the approximately 60-90 miles to Bethlehem, (like you walking to Wichita or past, except over hills, valleys and rough terrain) where the census was taken.
Poor Mary, riding or walking that long journey, big and pregnant. I bet her baby pressed on her bladder, making them stop often, I bet the heat was unbearable at times, I bet nights were spent in discomfort, sleeping on the hard ground. Going into labor in a town far away from her mother and all things familiar. A newly married young woman, who had never been intimate with a man, giving birth to her first child, who also just happens to be the Saviour of the world!!!!
Do you remember that feeling as you realized you were about to give birth to your first-born? Those emotions you felt, as you anticipated, yet dreaded the labor part. Did she cry for her momma? Did she squeeze Joseph’s hand as hard as she could as she contracted? Was he a good coach? Did she trust him to help safely deliver this precious child in a stable, or was she afraid even though the angel said, “fear not”?
Oh, the joy she must have felt, as she lifted that precious child in her arms, counted his ten tiny fingers and toes, and marvelled at all that had just occurred. How overwhelmed she must have been, as she looked around their humble dwelling, wondering what she had to offer the King of Kings? Wondering about this babe, who would grow into a toddler full of questions. When would they know, that he knew, He was the King of Kings? A look in his eye? The words from his mouth? Did she wonder what kind of challenges that would create?
And what about when all those stinky Shepherds showed up? Exhausted and emotional, what was she feeling as they came, and touched her new baby? You know how protective first time moms are! Did she wish she could have them wash up first?
As they left, they were still praising and glorifying God, but sweet Mary kept quiet, treasuring their words and pondering them in her heart. Don’t you think at that moment, it must have been beyond her ability to grasp, that sleeping in her arms—the precious child she had just worked so hard to bring into the world—was the Savior of the world. Wow!
How real everything becomes, as you watch in this movie, and see those precious little lives lost as Herod, in fear, commands all the baby boys under the age of 2 to be killed. Oh, the heartache of those mothers, screaming as their baby sons were ripped from their arms and slain. I have to wonder, as Mary and Joseph were told by the angel to flee in the night to safety, how old was Jesus at the time? Did her pumping adrenaline kick in, did those ‘mother bear’ instincts get her through? Or was she paralyzed with fear, and having to be prompted by Joseph to stop crying and pack so they could go? How did she manage? I can’t imagine what she was feeling, still in a foreign land away from home, now fleeing to Egypt to be refugees there. And another dream tells them to return back home, FINALLY! Who knows how many years later?! What a STRONG woman!
Watching this movie was eye-opening to say the least.
It is my hope, that this Christmas, you will celebrate the humble beginnings of our Lord and King. And remember, just how real this was to a newlywed couple in Bethlehem, who experienced this day, a life changing, WORLD changing moment…..as they held our Lord and Saviour in their arms and kissed his sweet head.
May Jesus be real to you today, as you celebrate His birth.
Merry Christmas & Happy Birthday, Jesus!!
Blessings to you and yours,
Dale, Tonya & 4 little Fergusons
Mary Did You Know”
[Originally written by Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene]
Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your Baby Boy has come to make you new?
This Child that you 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 the storm with His hand?
Did you know that your Baby Boy has walked where angels trod?
When you kiss your little Baby you kissed the face of God?
The blind will see.
The deaf will hear.
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 would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your Baby Boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
The sleeping Child you’re holding is the Great, I Am.