I never really took much notice of Mary in the Christmas story. I guess it was the shepherds or the visitors from the East that held some resonance being the onlookers checking out what was going on.
After I had become pregnant and given birth, my attitude to Mary changed and I began to see why some sections of the Christian faith truly revered her. She was quite an amazing lady.
I would have been a crap Mary. Even the first time she is mentioned in Luke, she is impressive. In response to the angel's prophecy of her giving birth to Jesus, she said "May your word to me be fulfilled."
I would have said "Why now, why couldn't you wait just a bit until I had married Joseph. It is going to be a nightmare for me and him. My friend's are never going to believe it. It will just make your son look illegitimate. Why can't you wait just a bit!"
Then just before she was due to give birth a census was decreed. How mad I would have been about this. "For goodness sake, I told you to wait a bit with the conception, now I have to go to Bethlehem. I am heavily pregnant, it is going to be so uncomfortable. I said I would do what you wanted and now look! Is this really your will? Can you please change things so I don't have to go. I have my midwife here and everything arranged."
If the travel wasn't bad enough, there were no rooms left when they got to Bethlehem. Again I would have been pretty mad about this. God plans his son to be born and has not planned a room for him. I would have agreed to the animal area, any area to rest while heavily pregnant but my hormones would have got the better of me and I would have done a fair bit of crying.
Even once the birth happened, things weren't all gold and angelic choirs - Mary and Joseph were told not to go home but to flee to Egypt. I would have been quite cross about that too.
But Mary did it all. It isn't reported she got that mad either.
Here was seemingly one of the most important events according to the Christian faith and even then lots of things appeared to go wrong or were extremely difficult for those involved. Makes you think just what kind of faith this is and how much faith you have to have, especially if you think God is asking you to do something.
Learning without doing
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