Updated: Dec 20, 2021
My favorite Christmas decoration is the Nativity. I started a collection 15 years ago and have gathered over 30 nativities from different parts of the world. I enjoy bringing each one out and recalling the trip I was on when I purchased it. The variety of colors, materials, and sizes are amazing! All of the nativities show the Blessed Mother of Christ, Mary and Joseph looking down at Jesus laying joyfully in a manager.
As I gaze upon my collection and prepare for the celebration of the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ, I am drawn to wonder what it was really like for Mary. After all, Mary was over 8 months pregnant traveling across the desert on a donkey. How uncomfortable that sounds. Did she ever complain or fret on her journey? Did she get irritated with Joseph why he had to be born in Bethlehem, or chose this donkey, or didn’t pack enough food or water? Did she get angry with God? Why was the census called when she was full term? Couldn’t God have planned this a little better? Why did she have to go through a full pregnancy when it was an immaculate conception? How unfair.
Not one of my nativities suggest Mary under such mental anguish. It would be completely understandable for Mary to struggle in her situation. How often do we find ourselves complaining over our circumstances, or blaming someone else for the predicament we find ourselves in? Or worst yet, blaming God for His part in our suffering? The Bible tells us to Trust in God. Oh ye, with so little faith. All things are possible with God. And yet, when we find ourselves in a state of distress all that goes out the window. We look for the nearest scapegoat which, often more than not, are those we love and trust the most.
Let us be reminded of the struggles of Mary and Joseph as they prepared for the coming of Christ. How would they care for this child? Would they be fit parents? After all, this was the son of God. They must have been frightened, even though the Angels kept telling them “Do Not Be Afraid”. But Mary graciously accepted the will of God. In Luke 1:38 Mary says: "I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me as you have said." What great strength, courage, and faith Mary had to trust God in this most precious request. She was to be the mother of God! Her journey was never easy, but how willingly she accepted what God asked of her.
When things don't go the way you plan, remember Mary and all she went through to bring us Jesus. As you are preparing all the decorations, food, and invitations for company remember the reason for the season. We are celebrating the coming of our Lord and Savior! Savor those words: “My Lord and Savior”. Pray for peace, comfort, and joy that comes this time of year as we celebrate the greatest gift the world has ever known.