A magnificent being, not of this world, paid her a visit and delivered to her a message that transformed her life…and all of human history to follow. In some mysterious way she would become pregnant and this was not destined to be a normal pregnancy. Her baby would become the Savior of the world.
At first this visit caused her to be filled with fear, but somehow the stranger’s voice and demeanor caused a calm to flow over her and initiated a resolve that allowed her to receive all that was said, even though it was humanly impossible to make a reference point to what she was experiencing in her young life.
Because of a government mandate, Mary and her fiancé , Joseph, were required to travel to Bethlehem for the national census. I picture her making that very uncomfortable journey without complaint. While in Bethlehem, she gave birth to her son in the presence of only livestock and a ragamuffin group of sheep herders. These unkempt people were the first ones to arrive and celebrate the newborn. Again, God’s unique design!
In spite of her limited ability to fully comprehend what was being said and what was happening to her, she chose to quietly submit and accept it all. In the Gospel of Luke 2:19 it says that “Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself.”
She pondered and sought the meaning of all she was experiencing and all that it would mean for all mankind. She was not pondering whether or not she agreed with this choice or not. She accepted God’s choice and hoped she would please Him through her faith. She may have wondered why she was the one favored among all the incredible women of God that she knew, but she still believed that God knew what he was doing.
What was written, and what we all read today, is that Mary did stop and ponder. She became a marvelous example for all of us of the value of slowing down, even coming to a complete stop, and intentionally pondering the magnificent handiwork of our God. She kept the sacredness of this situation sacred. She was in awe of her God! And her behavior reflects that.
I think it is exceptionally important that we follow her example as we consider what happened in that manger more than 2,000 years ago. I believe God has a transformational message for each of us when we go to the humble place of the manger, look around, and ponder. It might just transform our Christmas.