Reflecting on Mary….

The weather turned cold this morning, just in time for Christmas. We’re finishing our final preparations and double checking everything is ready for tomorrow. So I was drawn to this photo of a shadow cast by a manger scene taken by my friend Mary. It’s so easy to lose sight of the real meaning of Christmas. Sometimes we get so turned around, we are facing the shadows instead of the light. We get caught up in all the busy-ness of the season, making sure we have a gift for everyone who has given us one. We rush out to get something if we receive an unexpected present, rather than gratefully accepting what we have been given. Perhaps this Christmas is less than we hoped for, due to financial concerns or ill health. Yet whatever we are facing pales in comparison to the journey of Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem. I spent the end of my pregnancy on bed rest, while Mary spent hers riding a donkey. When the time came, we took a short drive to the sparkling clean, well equipped hospital. Mary wasn’t sure where she would have her baby. After so many had turned them away, I am sure even a stable seemed a welcome prospect. It seems they found shelter just in time. Take time today to consider the real meaning of Christmas, when the Holy of Holies deigned to humble himself and took on human form. Consider following the path of Mary, responding to Christ’s call by saying, “I am the Lord’s servant, may your word be fulfilled”. And remember, even 2000 years later, it’s never too late to turn toward the manger. Photo by Mary Staley


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