Admittedly, I’ve never been a huge fan of Mary.
I have nothing against her specifically, but after 25 + years of hearing the Christmas story each December, I think my heart grew numb to her role in bringing our Emmanuel into the world. The verses in the gospel of Luke just seem to roll over the tongue in oh-so-familiar tones, almost to the point where I am no longer listening.
Yes, she was young and unmarried. Yes, she took on the role of motherhood to the Saviour of the World. Yes, she had to travel and give birth in a barn without any physical comforts to speak of. I agree that it’s miraculous. I am amazed at her acceptance. I am quieted by her humility.
But… it’s still Mary. “Just” Mary.
And then came this year.
I’m sitting in the back of a candlelit sanctuary, and there’s a small chorus of Christmas carols filling the room. A meagre crowd – with room to spare – and simple, church chairs all lined up to face the front. And then I hear, yet again, the story of Mary and the birth of her precious babe.
But this time, the little miracle in my own womb, starts squirming. Little kicks, little turns, little punches to remind me of this humble presence – this incredible blessing from the Father that has been prayed for and answered in the most incredible way imagined.
I can’t tell you how many times over the last few months I’ve had secret giggles, shouts, and happy tears over the movement of our growing baby, but this moment topped them all – when I could finally, in this tiny way, understand what it may have been like to hold such a wonderful, promised gift inside, and wait for the day when (my) world would change.
She wasn’t “just” Mary anymore. She was a mother-to-be. Blessed. Hopeful. Excited. And maybe even a little scared. But every time she felt Him move, she was reminded of everything pure, and beautiful, and close to the heart.
Oh, Holy Night.
These words to ponder.
This Mary Moment.