Mary, Did You Know?

Mary did you know…my favorite Christmas song has reverberated through my consciousness for the entirety of this season.  The words are so poignant and meaningful because they reflect the complexity wrapped within the simplicity of Christ’s birth.

I meditated on those words.  When I came to the part that says when Mary kissed her baby’s face—as all mothers do—she kissed the face of God, I was overwhelmed by the thought of it! Can you imagine kissing the face of God? Can you wrap you head around Him not only allowing it, but desiring it?  How much He must love us!

Emmanuel means “God is with us”.  And so He was, but when you consider the circumstances of Jesus birth, it becomes clear that He was IN US.  The Spirit of God overshadowed Mary, according to Scripture, and what that means to me is that the Holy Spirit breathed life into the Last Adam in the same way He breathed it into the first Adam.  Our Savior travelled down the birth canal of a woman in the same way we all did.  This blessed woman was privileged to nurse  the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.  This baby was older than time itself, present and actively involved in Creation.  He was The Great I Am!

He walked in the shoes of a human being, being himself fully human and fully divine.  The Word says  that  when we partake of His body and His blood we become partakers of the Divine nature.  Even before the Crucifixion, this God-man was demonstrating that one day, when His work was complete, we would have this Divinity in, as Scripture says, these earthen vessels!

Our Father sent the Son, not only to minister to us, but to allow us to minister to Him! He let us kiss His face!  Truly, this proves that the plan was to reconcile us to Himself as members of His family.  To all who accept His sacrifice, to them gave He the power to become sons—and daughters– of the Most High!

I have known for awhile that the ritual we call Christmas is rich with meaning that we often fail to acknowledge.  I have known that the meager circumstances of Jesus’ birth reflect the desire of the Father to caution us against trappings of wealth and influence, and to encourage us to embrace His regard for those who are oppressed.  I have been aware that St. Nicholas, however benevolent,  has little to do with the Great Plan.  But, like Mary, I was not aware of the simplest of indications of how close God was drawing to us that night and for many nights to come.

Many of us have faced challenges this season.  I, too, have encountered some within my extended family.  What I realize is that my expectations need to line up with the reality that every day is Christmas day.  It is not about the giving of gifts, regardless of how much I love the practice. It is not about family, although I cherish the time that I can spend with them.  It is not about empty chairs and the loss of loved ones during this season, as painful as it may be.  Rather it is proof positive that if I acknowledge and accept the truth associated with the birth and death of my Lord and Savior, then the Spirit of God resides in me—and He has drawn so near that He is closer than a brother, closer even than the air I breathe.  Hallelujah!  And He wants me close to Him as well!

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