From Nazareth to Bethlehem, Mary, heavy with child rides on a donkey’s back. Mary, not much more than a mere girl carries within, not just any babe, but the Christ child, come to save the world. 

What was she thinking? What thoughts and fears swirled through her young mind?

Dearest Readers,

Rain streams down the windows, the Winter Solstice arrives Friday and Christmas day draws near, the words, “The weary world rejoices,” ring in my heart. (from O Holy Night written by Placide Cappeau) 

I ponder my weariness in this season, the going and doing, when all I want is to fall on my knees beneath the tree and contemplate Mary’s heart. It seems as if I grow wearier by the year. Is it just me, or do you feel it too?

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole empire should be registered. This first registration took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So everyone went to be registered, each to his own town.

Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David, to be registered along with Mary, who was engaged to him and was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. Then she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped him tightly in cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.” Luke 2:1-7 (CSB) 

From Nazareth to Bethlehem, Mary, heavy with child, rides on a donkey. Mary, not much more than a mere girl carries within, not just any babe, but the Christ child, come to save the world.

What was she thinking? What thoughts and fears swirled through her young mind?

As I think of Mary’s long journey, I turn back to my trip on a cold December day. I, too, a young girl of seventeen, heavy with child, trembling with fear down to my bones at the day ahead. I wanted my Mama in the worst way. The boy and I decided to make the journey alone. Through tears and pitiful mewling, I birthed the sweetest, chubbiest baby boy. I was in awe, counting fingers and toes.

I cannot help but wonder at Mary’s thoughts. I want to believe her faith in the words spoken to her was strong. Her surrendered obedience, and, I wonder where my compliance is?

Is it hidden beneath the busyness and going and doing? Is it buried under weariness and church fatigue? Buried under too many yeses and not enough no’s?

And we miss it, miss Him, the Christ child. We rush Advent, rush our days, rush our hearts and when it comes and goes we are left shattered and wanting. Wanting the Savior, craving the surrendered obedience, eyes of wonder at God and the stirrings within. Stirrings that begin with a humble woman-child lumbering along, side-saddled on a donkey’s back.

Where are you this advent season?

Gifts of Grace

In case you missed week one and two of The Upside Down Advent you may find them here:

Knowing Before the Seeing

The Waiting: Looking Forward

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I’m blessed to serve you in this place, to share with you the Gifts of Grace as I journey through the wilderness. I picture you across the table, hands wrapped tightly around your cup, sharing life, and laughter, and tears. As I share with you, my daily struggles, I long to hear what yours may be. You can do that by commenting below or reaching out to me here.