May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him,
so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Do you have a special tradition to kick off the Christmas season?
For me Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without first unwrapping our family’s manger scene before the first Sunday of Advent.
Year after year, I take my time to lovingly unwrap, and position the Precious Moments figurines atop of the piano, and am continually drawn into the simplicity of our Savior’s birth.
I can not help but fix my eyes upon Mary, the mother of Jesus, and wonder what her life must have been like.
I often imagine how this poor, young virgin must have felt when God sent the angel, Gabriel, to announce that she would bear God’s Son.
Scripture tells us Mary was initially confused, like any of us would be, though was humbled, and listened intently to what the angel had to say.
Pure of heart, with God’s favor, Mary didn’t miss a beat.
Her submission helped to set the world in motion. She readily responded to the angel saying, “I am the Lord’s servant, may your word to me be fulfilled” (Luke 1:38).
Later when it was time to make the journey with Joseph, between Nazareth to Bethlehem, on top of a donkey no less, Mary must have been exhausted, hungry, and weary.
Yet here she was full of grace, and hope. Finally, “the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them” (Luke 2: 6-7).
Moved by the miracle of Christ’s birth, Mary’s words after the shepherds’ visit continue to speak to the depths of my soul, “Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2: 19).
As moms and caregivers we give our hearts to those we love, but ultimately, like Mary, must hand our children back to God.
Letting go is one of the hardest things I have ever done.
Letting go we invite God in to do what we could never have done in the first place.
Like Mary, you and I have the privilege of listening to God’s assurances in stillness, and in the midst of chaos, too.
This ordinary Jewish girl, exemplified obedience to God’s call. Trusting and believing that God was in control, even when she could not fully understand what lay ahead, Mary undertook her mission.
From the stable to the cross, Mary knew what it was like to serve and rely on God’s faithfulness.
As we prepare our hearts and minds for the miracle of Christ’s birth, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).
Until next time…
May the Spirit of God lead you, the Word of God sustain you, and the promises of God grant you the gift of everlasting peace.
Love and blessings.
I’d love to hear what special tradition you have to kick off the Advent season, and how I can support you in prayer. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Author of Nourish Your Soul: 7 Secrets for Women Seeking Peace
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