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The Bible records for us in Luke 2 that,
as the shepherds left the manger in
Bethlehem to proclaim the birth of Jesus,
"Mary kept all these things and pondered
them in her heart." Have you ever stopped
to consider what must have been going through the mind of Mary at this point? Certainly she had been made aware of what was happening by the annunciation from the angel Gabriel. Yet despite this knowledge, and her obvious love and devotion to Jehovah, I would imagine that many questions filled her heart at that time. Put yourself in her shoes for a moment. Some nine months ago, an angel appeared to you and told you that, although you were a virgin, you were going to conceive and give birth to a baby. Not just any baby, but you were going to fulfill the dream of every Jewish girl, and give birth to the promised Messiah. Then the blessed event took place, and now you find yourself in a squalid barn in Bethlehem, holding an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes. Though you would love to have better surroundings for your firstborn, you tenderly lay Him in a manger, for you have no other options. Do you suppose she asked herself, "Can this really be the Christ? Would the Promised One be born under these conditions? How can this be?" Then suddenly shepherds burst into the stable, men excitedly speak of angels that appeared to them on a hillside, singing and proclaiming that Christ the Lord had been born in the city of David. Suddenly, a hush falls as the shepherds gaze upon the face of Jesus for the first time. Their silence turns to worship, as they bow before the Infant King. Then softly, they file out, quietly asking each other, "Did you see Him? It was just as the angels said! Messiah has come to earth!" As they go into the night, and quiet once again overtakes the scene, Mary begins once again to think. The message of Gabriel had come true. The message to Joseph had come true. The angelic proclamation to shepherds on a hillside had all come true. She looks once more at her son, knowing that He is in fact the Son of God Incarnate, and wonders at the marvelous grace and goodness of God. She does not understand all that has taken place, and she surely does not fully comprehend what is to come. But as she pillows her head, and thinks on her child, she is undoubtedly able to repeat her words spoken to her cousin Elizabeth those many months before, "My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour."
Let us never forget the truth of that first Christmas! That Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, was born, so that He would die, so that mankind might have eternal life through Him.
Mark T Montgomery