Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Third Joyful Mystery

But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart.  Luke 2:19

Mary thought about it all the way to Bethlehem. Joseph and she had dreamed and planned how the child would be born. In the comfort of home, in the love of family and friends.

Then, the decree for the census. The long difficult journey to Bethlehem. There is no comfort riding a donkey when you are ready to give birth.

Bethlehem at last. But still, no rest. There is no room anywhere, no comfort. Suddenly, there is urgent need for shelter.

Finally, a stable. Lonely. Lowly. An odd place for God to appear.

In the deep of the night, the babe is born.  Mary holds him in her arms, feels his specialness. Joseph has his turn, as well, marveling at the tiny baby - His King.

A few hours of rest, and shepherds arrive. Shy, unsure, they tell their marvelous tale. Angels, songs of glory. "Holy, holy" fills the night time sky.
God is revealed to two simple parents, a few animals, lowly shepherds, and sheep.


After months of waiting, their baby has arrived. Not in the way they first envisioned, but in the way God planned. Like many parents before and since them, Mary and Joseph had to seriously rethink their birth plan!

Mary and Joseph are in awe of life itself. the tiny child, who has been living in his mother's womb, is now present and visible to all. Jesus's first visitors were not family or friends, but strangers. They came not to a hospital or birthing center, but a stable. The child lay not in a crib with flannel blankets, but a manger filled with hay.
Mary kept all these things and thought on them in her heart. Parents do that. They relive the moment of their child's entry into their life. It is always a drama. It is always miraculous. Parents reflect on this time as their child grows, pondering the meaning of this child in their lives. Every birth is a nativity. Every child is a miracle.

The Joyful Mysteries

No comments: