Today is the last Sunday before Christmas and our thoughts are whirling with all the details to make it a special day. Friends, food and family make this a joyous time of year.
Yet 2000 years ago an angel visited a young woman who by social standings would have been regular and of no special worth. The angel had a very important message, Gods message. This young woman would be with child and even though she was engaged, she was a virgin. How politically incorrect, no bunking up together, no trial runs, she was indeed saving herself for a man by the name of Joseph. Joseph was a man of integrity and kept Mary a virgin until after the birth of this bundle of joy that we celebrate, Jesus.
As I have been preparing for Christmas eve service and Sunday services the past several weeks it has really been heavy on my heart the pressure Mary must have felt. Not only to tell her fiancé that she was pregnant with God, but her parents and friends. But even more importantly when Mary would ponder the writings of the Old Testament prophets about the life of the Messiah, did it really sink in this would be her son? Isaiah 53 would rip any parents heart out to think of such things happening to our children that we are to keep safe and protect. Everyday waking up wondering if this was the day my son would be led off and slaughtered.
Luke records the proud new parents going to the temple as the Levitical law demands to make sacrifice and during this time they encounter a man, Simeon who was told by God's Holy Spirit that he would not die before seeing the Lords Christ. Anna the prophetess is the other one they meet who continually points people to the baby making known this is the promised one. But Simeon warns Mary that her son is "appointed" to the rise and fall of many. He goes on to say that not only that but Mary's own heart will be pierced, not literally but as she sees her son hanging on the cross, being pierced through for our transgressions. (IS 53)
Mary did you know your son was on loan?
Mary did you really understand what was coming?
Mary did you ever feel helpless to save your son?
Mary, through the death of your Son, you were saved!!
Listen, I don't mean to be a rock in your shoe, but recognize Christmas for what it is, a fulfilled promise of God from the book of Genesis that he will crush your head and you will bruise his heel, speaking of the battle between the Lord and Satan.
Merry Christmas and may God's blessing abound for you and your house this week.
At the manger