Nine Days And Counting


I hope you all aren’t getting tired of the countdown. To be honest, I’m really enjoying thinking about Christmas and searching for a way to tie in the numbers as I count down to The Day. This one was so obvious I almost missed it — for nine months Mary carried the Christ child, sight unseen to the rest of the world. Nine months she knew a baby boy was growing inside her, a special baby boy — the Son of God.

What a whirlwind. The angelic announcement, then off to see if what he said about Elizabeth was true (it was). In those three months with her cousin, Mary undoubtedly experienced the early signs of pregnancy. Did she have morning sickness? Weight gain?

Then back to Nazareth to face Joseph. But miracle on top of miracles, he too had seen an angel, so now there was a wedding to plan. Not an easy thing to take care of during her confinement. How much longer before her neighbors would learn she was pregnant? When she no longer went to the market or the synagogue, would they figure something was wrong? Would they stop by her house to see if she was sick? How was she to explain to them about baby Jesus?

The angel had called her favored, but there were days she didn’t feel so very favored. First came the questioning looks, then the whispers, cut short when she drew nearer. She could feel the disapproval, from members of her family, certainly, if not from the rest of the community. If Joseph hadn’t stood by her, she probably would have had to leave Nazareth and move in with Elizabeth.

But one day, the fears and doubts and humiliation all seemed to wash away, because she felt little baby Jesus kick. To think that this tiny boy was getting bigger, stronger, and closer to actually coming into the world! This was the child who would be great and would be called the Son of the Most High. The angel said the Lord God would give Him the throne of His father David — a throne He would have forever.

If she wasn’t living it herself, she’d have a hard time believing any of it. She was to give birth to the King? She an unmarried girl from an out-of-the-way town in Galilee. Would one single person in Israel believe what she was going through? OK, besides Joseph. Thank God for Joseph. And Elizabeth. Even when she hadn’t started showing, somehow Elizabeth knew she was pregnant and had blessed her, blessed her baby.

Actually confinement wasn’t the worst thing that could happen to her. It would give her a little time to sort out these incredible things, try to make sense of it all, to figure out what exactly God was doing in and through her. I mean, she was going to have a baby! And a husband! These were not small changes, especially when the order was backwards like this.

But of all things, even a quiet birth at home wasn’t going to happen. Some Roman edict was forcing everyone back to their ancestral lands, and she and Joseph, both descendants of King David, would be off to Bethlehem. Right at the end of her nine months.

If she’d known everything she knew now, would she have been so quick to say to the angel, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word”? Well, she was God’s bondslave, and this is what He asked of her …

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Published in: on December 16, 2011 at 5:42 pm  Comments (5)  
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