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From a Mothers Heart for the week of December 22, 2011

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By Bea Wallen

  Bea Wallen

From a Mothers Heart

Pondering The Birth of The Savior The Lord Jesus Christ

 

The gospel of Luke presents Jesus as a Savior for the whole human race.

The birth of Jesus was foretold to a virgin, named Mary by the angel, Gabriel. Then the angel said to her “Do not be afraid Mary for you have found favor with God. And behold, you conceive in your womb and bring forth a son and shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the son of the highest and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David.”

“And he will reign over the house of Jacob forever and of his Kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:30-33) Of the various participants listed in the story of the birth of the Savior Jesus Christ in the second chapter of Luke non are more central than Joseph and Mary. They traveled a long way from their home in Nazareth to the city of Bethlehem because of the Roman census for taxation purposes.

We can imagine Joseph who came from the city of David, groaning at the thought of making the long journey to Bethlehem. I’m sure they were already making plans for their new home in Nazareth. Then suddenly Caesar Augustus in his craze for the census threw into disarray all their plans for a peaceful birth in Nazareth. It was out of the hands of Mary and Joseph for Augustus himself was to fulfill the prophecy so that the Christ of the human race could be born at the appointed place that was in the plan of God. It was prophesied in the Gospel of Micah 5:2. “But  you Bethlehem Ephrathah though you are little among the thousands of Judah yet of you shall come forth to me the one to be ruler in Israel whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. 

We have no quotes, no observation from Mary and Joseph in Luke 2. We only learn from Luke that Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. (Luke 2:19) No doubt she needed quiet and privacy in order to come to her own convictions about the angel’s announcement her betrothal to Joseph, the calling of the census the long torturous journey to Bethlehem, the birth, the manger, the arrival of the shepherds. She needed to come to realization of the amazing identity of her own little baby. A savior who is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:11) She and Joseph may have wondered who is this baby boy who needs bathing, feeding, nurturing and care each and everyday? Is he truly the son of the most high whose Kingdom will have not end. (Luke 1:33)

Just as Mary pondered these things in her heart, we need times to ponder, to think about what God is doing not only in our history and our world but also in our lives. Meditate on his word and ask what are God’s plan for you and for me? We see the outside of Christmas all around us. In the lighted and glittering Christmas tree, in the holly wreaths and candles. It is in gaily decorated shop windows, and gift wrapped in bright paper with colored ribbons and tinsel.

It is heard all over America in music floating out over the air from shopping malls, radios and television in carols being sung and in chimes and organ music. In the rush and hurry of the Christmas season many limit their contacts to the outside of Christmas only. So the holy season becomes a surface experience and not a spiritual existence.

There is something profound about Christmas that goes far beyond gifts and glitter. The mystery of the season lies not in the presentation of gifts but in the giving of one’s self to love that goes far beyond our understanding. As we gather on Christmas with our own family to share our love for one another, let us keep the real spirit of Christmas in our hearts. The spirit of Christmas embodied in the wonder of God’s love, given to mankind on the first Christmas around 2000 years ago. A love incarnate, a lasting, living memory. Christmas is love.

What more can I say? May yours be a joyful one.

From My Heart.