12.24.2013

'The power of the Most High will overshadow you'


With Christmas fast approaching, I decided to read the Gospel according to Luke.  And you know how you can read a passage over and over again, and every single time, you’ll glean something new from it?  Well, that’s what happened to me.  As I read the first few chapters of Luke, I picked out each of the passages that talked specifically about Mary, the mother of Jesus.

And I realized something that had never quite sunk in like it did this time.

In chapter 1, an angel appears to Mary (who is estimated to have been 13 or 14 at the time) and tells her that she has found favor in God’s sight and she will bear His Son.  God’s Son.

‘The holy Child shall be called the Son of God.’

Later on, Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth, whom the angel had said was also with child, and Elizabeth blesses her and ‘the fruit of her womb’.  Mary offers her song (referred to as ‘Mary’s Magnificat’) in which she praises God for His goodness towards her.

‘My soul exalts the LORD, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior for He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave.  For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed.’

In chapter 2, Joseph (Mary’s betrothed husband) must take them to Bethlehem because of Caesar Augustus’ census for ‘all the world to be counted and taxed’.  She was already heavy with child.  Riding on a donkey.  Across all kinds of terrain.

And she gives birth to her first child, in a barn.  And wraps Him in strips of cloth.  Then crowded by shepherds who had heard the birth of Jesus by a host of angels.

And verse 19 says, ‘But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.’

I think it’s safe to assume that Mary was feeling many different emotions at this point.  Or definitely had been the past few months that she was pregnant.  Feelings like...fear, confusion, doubt, anxiety, amazement, and awe.

To any girls out there reading this, try putting yourself in her position for a minute.  Picture who you were when you were just entering your teen years.  Remember back to where you lived, who your friends were, what your thoughts were most occupied with at that time.  I’m sure none of them were about being pregnant, being disowned by your family and possibly getting stoned to death, or having your baby in a stable.

Later on in Luke 2, Simeon (‘a righteous and devout man’), blessed the little family and said to Mary, ‘Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed - and a sword will pierce even your own soul - to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.’

How’s that for a prophecy?  Can you imagine holding your newborn baby in your arms and someone telling you that He was born to die?  I’m sure Mary already knew of this, since she knew the teachings of the Word of God and that He would send His only Son to save His children, but...He was going to die.  Your perfect, beautiful little baby was going to be killed for the sins of men.

The song ‘You’re Here’ by Francesca Battistelli is so beautiful and I think is such a perfect representation of what Mary must’ve felt and thought at the time of Jesus’ birth.

‘You made the world before I was born
But here I am holding You in my arms tonight...
I don’t know how long I’m gonna have You for
But I’ll be watching when You change the world
Look at Your hands, they’re still so small
Someday You’re gonna stretch them out and save us all...’

I think we can learn many lessons from Mary and her acceptance of God’s will on her life and the plan He had for her.  But I think the biggest thing we can take away from her story is trust.  Through everything that happened to her, she trusted that God the Father would provide and protect her and His Son.  She was a young girl.  She was engaged to be married.  The Jewish law said that a single woman who commits a sexual sin is to be stoned to death.  Yet God protected her.  There was no room for them in any inns in Bethlehem but God provided.  And no, a barn isn’t the ideal place for a king to be born.  The King was born surrounded by hay and straw and farm animals.  But most especially, God’s presence.  Can you imagine what that must’ve been like for Mary?  To give birth to the God-man?  Just let that sink in.

This Christmas season, rejoice in everything God has provided for you.  Everything He has protected you from.  And trust Him in the coming year that He will continue to guide and guard you.  Remember that He always has a plan.  And His power is ever present.


Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all my amazing followers.  You are all such a blessing.

Oh and you should comment and tell me what y'all are doing for the holidays:)

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A Child Has been boRn for us, a Son is gIven to uS, authoriTy rests upon HiM; and He is nAmed JeSus.


4 comments:

  1. Merry Christmas, Raquel. Hope you and yours enjoy a special holiday.

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  2. I love that, never noticed that stuff before,

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  3. Trust is such a lovely word. Great post Raquel.

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