21 Gifts of Advent

Devotional

The Gift of Preparation


So how do you prepare for Christmas? How do you not get lost in the stress, parties, and chaos of shopping? How do you celebrate old traditions with new ideas? Where is the peace among men in the craziness of it all? Where is the joy in an empty chair around the dinner table? 


How do we do this year after year? Let’s go back to the first Christmas for answers.


How does one prepare to mother the Savior of the world? Is there a training manual specific to this special role in motherhood? There was no internet in the stable! How would Mary know what to do? 


Surely, Mary dreamed about having a baby. As a mom myself, it’s safe to say that we all wonder what our children will become. We ask God for healthy babies full of giggles and grins. We prepare for the best birth experience, but every mom wants to skip over the painful process of delivery. 


Mary couldn't have known the hard place of pain. Little did she know as she watched her young baby breathing new life, she would also see His last breath. She couldn't have known that she would be a witness to His death for her sins or the sins of those who put Him there. I can’t imagine the pain in a mother’s heart as she says goodbye to a child for the last time.


Mary’s response sounds simple. "May it be as You have said..." speaks of her purity of faith. Simple faith in new things and new places of waiting. New feelings of a mother's joy, followed by long days of painful, weighty sorrow. No, Mary you couldn't have known the Savior’s life was going to end in a horrible way. Her faith can encourage us to trust God more in every season.


Advent reflection: Mary’s pure faith gives us strength and was proven strong in her preparation. Faith itself is a gift and God's great love comforts each of us in the preparation days for whatever is ahead.  And even though we don’t know what the days ahead hold, we must have faith in the One who does.