Sunday, December 20, 2020

This month we are reflecting on Christmas through Mary’s eyes based on the book, Not a Silent Night. We’re trying to understand what Christmas meant for Mary, hoping we can get a better understanding of what Christmas means for us, too. We look at the stories about Jesus’ birth backward through time, so we read the story of Jesus’ ascension and the end of Mary’s life at the first Sunday of Advent. Mary saw Jesus again and He rose again to defeat death. So we looked at how Christmas and Easter go together. Then we looked at what Christmas meant for Mary as she watched her Son hang on the cross. During that horrible experience, Mary must have thought a lot about Christmas. Only Christmas made it make sense. He was born to be the Savior, to save people from their sins. She heard all this at Christmas. Now she was seeing it on the cross, remembering the cradle at Christmas. Last week we saw how, at the age of 12, Jesus shocked Mary, and everyone else, with His words at the Temple. We were told that Christmas means to worship this Jesus who is the way and the truth.

Today we are traveling back even further in Mary’s life when she is living in her hometown, the tiny village of Nazareth. To give you a better idea of how small Nazareth was, it was so insignificant that it didn’t even show up on first-century maps. In that village, Mary was on the lowest level of Jewish society. She was a peasant girl, not a citizen of Rome, not even of any importance in and among her own people. And it was to this girl that the angel Gabriel appeared, announcing that she would give birth to the long awaited Messiah.

So, here, we are to think about why. Why would God choose Mary? God, who made all of creation, was coming into her to be born as a baby. Her Son was to be the Messiah for all people who live on the earth. And whom would God trust the precious Son to? What mother would God choose?