One of the Christmas traditions in our house is the reading of the Christmas story (Luke 2)prior to opening presents. Reading it this year, I looked across the room at my 9 month pregnant daughter-in-law and had a brand-new appreciation for what Mary must have been feeling as the events of that chapter unfolded.
I observed my daughter-in-law move restlessly as she sought a comfortable position, I saw the pain on her face as the baby kicked her in the ribs and the effort it took just to get up out of a chair. I realized that Mary and Joseph had made the 80+ mile trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem when she was at the same stage of pregnancy. She was also a first time mother and had never experienced the birth process. She was alone at this critical time, without her mother, only Joseph by her side. (I wondered how much help he was in this situation?) Despite these realities, Mary made the journey and began the role she was called to complete. She lived the words of her declaration to the angel Gabriel, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.” Luke 1: 38
Experiencing Christmas this year in our context of having a baby soon to be born into our household gave me a new appreciation for what Mary did as Jesus’ mother. What a faithful servant of God she was. What a Gift she brought into the world!