“Mary pondered these things in her heart.” Luke 2:19
We will never know exactly what thoughts Mary had on that first Christmas so long ago.
The angel had told her that she had been chosen. She knew that the angel had appeared to Joseph, too. She had confirmation from Elizabeth, but the Bible doesn’t tell us about those months between that visit and Bethlehem.
Just because of the time in which they lived, those months were probably very difficult for Mary and Joseph. Mary was pregnant before her marriage and Joseph had accepted her and went ahead with their marriage. Then came the census and the travel to Bethlehem. Traveling by foot and donkey would have been difficult to say the least, but doing it nine months pregnant – no way!
They get to Bethlehem and it is so crowded. Realizing that Mary is in labor, they must have been frantic to find a place to stay. The only thing available was a stable.
There in that stable – Mary gives birth. While we like to think about all those paintings of a serene Mary holding a bouncing baby boy, it would not have been like that. Labor is hard and it is bloody. Mary and Joseph would have both been exhausted. They probably really needed a bath and a hot meal.
I wonder – that night – did they lose sight of the angel’s promise? The promise that this was God’s Son. My first thought is – not Mary and Joseph – they knew, they had seen the angel.
God has promised us all to be with all of us, to never leave or forsake us, but when hard times come – and they always do – it’s easy to lose sight of God’s promises. It’s easy to look around and just see cows and think “where is God in this?”
Yet, unknown to Mary and Joseph over in a field outside Bethlehem, there are some shepherds. They are just minding their sheep when an angel appears before them. The angel tells them all about Jesus and his birth. Suddenly, there’s a whole host from heaven praising God.
While Mary and Joseph are in a barn having one more difficult day in months of difficult days, over the way, in a field, the shepherds are having church!
I wonder – if Mary and Joseph had been thinking “Am I sure I got this right? The Messiah is being born in a stable with just a manger for a bed?” Then here comes this band of shepherds busting into the stable, telling their own story of angels. Just when the night seemed the darkest – God sent some shepherds!
That first Christmas night, when the Savior of the world was born and God gave us all the greatest gift – light shining in the darkness. What was Mary doing? She was pondering all those things in her heart.
This Christmas, let’s do some pondering. In the midst of difficult days, let’s remember a baby born in a manger.
About the Author –
I’m Amelia’s auntie.
I’m a wife to Lewis and a Mom to Jonathan and Greg. I’m Nena to CJ, Lexi, Emily, Harper and Stella. I’m also a monster-in-law to Jamie and Suzanne.
I love Jesus!
I love a good book and Hallmark movies!
I love a happy ending!