Christmas! This Christmas is so different for many of us! But the reason behind Christmas has not changed – God cared so much for the world – for each and every one of us -that He ‘laid aside His majesty’ to become one of us, to cancel our debt of wrongdoing, restore our true identity and reunite us with God.
I think of how difficult it must have been for Mary, among many reasons, because of the threat the whole nation was continually under with Roman occupation. And yet she had the incredible privilege of carrying in her womb, nurturing and caring for the Saviour of the world.
It was not uncommon in Mary’s culture for women to enter a time of relative seclusion during pregnancy. This made it easier to devote themselves to their physical, nutritional, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, and hence that of the developing baby.
Mary had a unique destiny – to be the mother of the Son of God. Each of us also has a unique purpose – one that only we can fulfil. And I can’t help thinking that in the midst of the threat of COVID and with the ongoing challenges of lockdowns and social distancing, we are actually being provided, perhaps in a way a little like Mary was, with opportunity to embrace this.
We have an ongoing opportunity, if we want to take it, to put aside many things which have taken our time and energy and to devote ourselves both to self-care and to nurturing and developing, or perhaps discovering for the first time, what we are created for. This often shows up in our values, gifts, strengths, dreams.
Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And for Mary, her season of pregnancy, birthing and caring for Jesus lead to the world being changed forever. We are all in a world-changing season, but within this each of us also has the opportunity to partner with God to, in our unique way, impact the world.
(Photo courtesy of Ryan Franco, Unsplash)