Mary Did You Know?

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in clothes and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.  When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.  But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.  The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
– Luke 2:8-20

Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.  Did she know?  Oh, how could she know the glory that had come into her life!

We celebrate the birth of Christ, giving gifts to one another, and singing songs that remind us of the Christmas Story (shepherds, Angels, wise men, and the manger).  We post images of Santa and elves.  And we question if we, as Christians should wage war against the saying “Happy Holidays” because we all want to “Keep Christ in Christmas.”

And as we begin to argue, we realize we have already lost sight of what truly matters.

My sister wrote a beautiful piece on why and how she still includes Santa in Christmas.  You see, Christmas is about family.  Look at the Holy Family of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus.  It is about receiving gifts that you do not necessarily deserve.  The Magi.  God coming down to earth to save all of us from our sins.

Do I think that Christmas has become bigger and that society has lost sight of all of this?  Maybe.  But I know too many people who do not celebrate the birth of Christ, and if I raise a fuss and shout about how they need to focus on something that they do not believe, how is that showing them love?  If I tell them how they should live, that isn’t love.

Christmas is about love.  Unconditional love.  A love that none of us could ever deserve.

Like Mary, we treasure these things, holding them in our hearts.  I know that God has a plan.  It may not be the one that I have envisioned, but I know that it is far greater.  Mary held a glimpse of God’s plan, but how could she ever know the miracles that Jesus would perform?  If you are asking if she knew, take a look at Luke 2:41-52 and John 2:1-12 (young Jesus in the temple and the wedding feast, respectively).  Oh, she knew her son was the Son of God.

The gift of love is evident in how we live.  If we do not love, we cannot claim to be followers of Christ.  So, this holiday season, smile and share that love that you treasure and hold in your heart.  Your life may be the only Gospel that someone may see.


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