Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Feeling Christmas

I can’t get enough of Christmas this year. I think it is because I missed Christmas last year. The brain surgery was on December 19th and the entire week before that I was going through testing and visiting doctors and scrambling to get people to take care of my three religion classes and at the end of a semester with all the work that entails doing that was a major endeavor. So, last year I didn’t experience much of Christmas let alone enjoy it.

But this year every light, every note of Christmas music, every Christmas movie, every Christmas wish is sinking into my heart and exploding in joy. It’s like I am experiencing Christmas for the first time! But it is much more than just the décor and music; those things are simply catalysts. I find myself this year really pondering Christmas. For example, yesterday I heard “Round yon virgin, mother and child” and I began to think of Mary and what Christmas meant to her.

I’ve had children. I know the pain and the emotions of childbirth. But Mary was young and alone. Most scholars think she was probably about fourteen years old. Certainly she was scorned by the small community of Nazareth for getting pregnant before being married. And then there was the journey, about 90 miles, to Bethlehem while being pregnant. Tradition tells us she rode a donkey, but walking would be more comfortable than the jolting ride on a donkey. I imagined how she felt, her first child and she was without mother or sister or female kin of any kind! Alone, rejected, inexperienced, far from home, in a dirty, stinky stable she gave birth to the Son of God. She wasn’t spared the pain, the emotions, the fear or any of the other things that accompany child birth, but she did it.

Not knowing how she would deliver, or who would help her, or what would happen to her, she went forward trusting that God would help her and care for her. Oh, the faith of that woman!

This Christmas I’m not just thinking about but feeling the birth of the Savior in all its wonder and glory, and I’m appreciating  those who helped bring Him into the world. I’m celebrating it all!


Anonymous said...

Mary is sometimes forgotten in the rush of everything else in the holiday season. We stop to think about the birth of the Savior and what it means to the world, but kind of gloss over Mary's part. As mothers we can really relate to her and it's nice to be reminded of the sacrifices she made for the Savior, that continued for the rest of His life. Also, I'm so glad that this year is so much better than last year, it was pretty traumatic for you. I hope you celebrate the year anniversary by having a beautiful Christmas.
Cathie xoxoxo

Machen family said...

That was really beautiful. Thank you!

Wendi said...

On Sunday, we had a joint Relief Society and Priesthood meeting. Several talented ward members presented an inspiring Christmas program for us. They sang two versions of "Mary's Lullaby"-- as well as "O Holy Night", "Away in a Manger", and two other songs. The narrator read "Maybe Christmas Doesn't Come From a Store" by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated the program. And this post reminded me of a lot of the points that were brought up in it. Thanks, Sherrie. I'm glad to hear you're enjoying the Christmas season even more than normal this year! :)

Cathy said...

Thank you, I will be thinking of this now also and it will enrich my Christmas joy.

She-Mulk said...

May I use this entry on my blog? I feel the same about Mary, but wouldn't be able to put it into words like you have done. Please let me know. Thanks!