It's late Christmas Eve as I write. In my family Christmas Eve has always been the main celebration, so I'm winding down from an exciting day.
This has been an extremely meaningful Christmas season for me. For some reason I have heard more about Mary this year than I noticed in the past. Thinking about Mary always reminds me of one of my last conversations with my Mom, when it was clear she would be going to heaven soon. I asked her who she was most looking forward to seeing in heaven and, without hesitation, she answered Mary. It took me awhile to grasp the fact that she meant THE Mary and not some random friend. I have to admit I didn't understand the interest in Mary. In some ways I still don't. I have reflected several times this season on why my Mom was most anxious to meet Mary. I can think of several more adventurous types from the Bible that I would like to speak with. Abraham, Moses and Jonah come to mind. I believe the different interests are rooted in the ways my Mom and I are different. Mom was content at home and loved having babies. I doubt anyone would use the word content in a description of me.
Hearing so much of Mary this year and thinking about my Mom's desire to meet her caused me to ponder what types of questions Mom would ask Mary. I am certain the questions would be along the lines of those in the song "Mary Did You Know?" I had never before contemplated "did you know when you kissed your little baby, you kissed the face of God" or "did you know your baby boy would save our sons and daughters? ".
Today at the Christmas service we attended (which was, by the way, the most meaningful I've ever attended) the pastor quoted Max Lucado as he talked about Emmanuel meaning "God with us". He talked about God coming into the muck and mire of our world and said we prefer to think of God only as divine because that keeps him at a distance. That struck a chord in me. I don't know if I've purposely wanted to keep God at a distance, but I certainly have never tried to contemplate his humanity. I wonder how this new realization might affect me in the coming year?
I believe that in my head I know much of what there is to know about God, but I've experienced very little of him, because in my one dimensional view of him I've never considered how much he is able to understand of my weaknesses, emotions and humanity. My heart opened up to this possibility tonight because of the emphasis on Mary and My Mom's desire to meet her.
Mary is not and never has been worshipped in my family, but I am grateful for this new awareness I've had of her, which has stirred new thoughts about Jesus in my heart.
I hope any readers still with me are also experiencing Jesus in a fresh way this year.