Friday, December 10, 2010

A New Perspective

One of the things that's been on my mind recently is of course Christmas.  I've been thinking a lot about how we celebrate the birth of Jesus and the story that goes along with it.  I'm not so sure Jesus would be so happy with the way we celebrate his birth.  Honestly, I think he would be sick about it.  Lots of pointless money being spent, people practically trampling each other just to get the latest and greatest gifts, and spending more time being stressed out than truly enjoying the actual holiday.  That's why it makes my skin crawl when I see people say..."don't take the Christ out of Christmas."  I'm not so sure Christ wants to be at all involved in the way we celebrate Christmas.  I'm not trying to call anyone out because believe me, I am guilty of spending too much money and getting stressed out during the holidays.  It's just interesting to think about how Jesus would want his birth to be celebrated, and I don't think it would resemble what Christmas currently looks like.  That being said, I obviously believe the birth of Christ is one of the neatest stories and know how important it is to my faith.

  I've heard and read the Christmas story over and over again, but this year I have a new perspective, a new respect.  This new respect is for Mary.  Sunday at church there was a song played called "Labor of Love" and it talked about how the night of Jesus' birth might not have been such a silent night.  Now I'm not one for cheesy Christian music.  Don't get me wrong, I love worship music and love to worship, but I'm pretty picky when it comes to "Christian" music.   However, this song really got me.  Mary went through labor just as any other woman in her time would have, maybe in even worse conditions.  It's hard for me to believe that the night Jesus was born was silent and calm.  I'm sure there was pain, fear, and doubt.  This song really helped me put myself in Mary's shoes.  This is easy to do since I am currently carrying my own baby boy, although I could never, ever fully relate to what Mary went through to bring my savior into this fallen world.  

I have to admit, the thought of giving birth shakes me to my very core.  The thought of the massive amounts of pain scare me but even more than this, the unknown is very unsettling.  I'm worried about everything going smoothly much more than the pain.  The whole thing is very foreign and scary to me.  It's scary to me, who will have an epidural, doctor and hospital to give birth in.  This is a little different than what Mary experienced on the night of Jesus' birth. She didn't have pain killers, a doctor, or a hospital to have Jesus in.  In fact, she had him in a manger.  Also known as a stable.  I can't imagine how scared she must have been.  

Throughout this pregnancy I have felt very much too young to be having a baby.  I'm 23, and I feel like most of the people I know that are pregnant or have had babies recently, are at least a few years older than me.  I feel like every pregnant woman I pass at the grocery store or mall is older than me.  Whether or not this is just my mind, or reality, who knows.  Nevertheless, I feel young.  Once again, I have nothing on Mary.  Not only was she young (younger even than me) when she was pregnant, but she was a virgin, unmarried girl with no plan to get pregnant.  At least I know how I got pregnant (ha!) and was not so shocked when I found out.  Don't get me wrong, I was pretty shocked, but it's not like an angel came to me and told me I would be giving birth the the savior of the world.  I can't even begin to fathom what the must have been like.  She must have been so unsure, but her faith allowed her to carry and give birth to Jesus.  Now that's a faith I need.

I am so very excited to become a mama to this little boy, but with that excitement comes a lot of fear.  In a few months I will have a child that I will have the privilege of raising.  Every last decision I make will in turn affect another human beings life.  Yikes, I can feel my blood pressure starting to rise.  I feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility already, and my son is not yet born.  Take that responsibility and multiply it by about a million, and that's what I think Mary was probably feeling.  After all, she was giving birth to Jesus.  JESUS.  As in the Son of God.  The man that would eventually die a horrible death on a cross for MY (our) sins.  Now that is a HUGE responsibility.  My mind can't even wrap itself around how Mary was feeling.  

I am so thankful for this new perspective on the Christmas story.  I am SO grateful for such a strong, faithful women like Mary that had the huge responsibility of giving birth to MY savior.  Of course I am even more grateful that God decided to send his son in order to take away my sins, but I feel like I can really relate to Mary and because of this my respect for her has multiplied by about 100.   

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