“Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb. Mary had a little lamb whose fleece was white as snow.” I am not talking about the lamb referred to in the nursery rhyme we learned as a child. I am talking about a young mother Mary, whose little lamb was a child who was named Jesus. A baby born about 2000 years ago who would forever change the world. This baby was the lamb of God, the spotless lamb who would be hung and crucified on a cross some 33 years later.
Oh, the love of a mother! How precious is every newborn? How precious is every child? Every child is a gift from God; each one unique and original. On that morning at the manger in the little town of Bethlehem, a special child was born. But I am ahead of myself in Mary’s story. The birth of the Christ child was the fulfillment of a prophecy shared with Mary many months before. The story begins with Mary being visited by an angel.
We are told in Luke 1:26-35, “In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.’ Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.
“But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.
“‘How is this to be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’ The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.’”
I can only imagine what that encounter was like for Mary. Mary, maybe thirteen years of age, was just living her life as any young lady of her time might do. When she woke up that day it was just another morning. Her life was instantly changed when the angel Gabriel appeared and told her of what was to come. She was not a prominent person in Jewish society. She was not rich or well-known. But Mary was obedient to God.
After the angel’s visit, what emotions do you think Mary was experiencing? Was she fearful and nervous? Or was Mary excited and anxious? My guess is that she was each of these, just as any of us would be today.
Was Mary wondering what Joseph would think and how would she tell him she was visited by an angel? Do you think she had any idea there would be a day that her little lamb would be sacrificed? There had to have been many emotional days for Mary as she prayed about the unborn child who she would deliver to this world.
My favorite Christmas song was written by Mark Lowry. It is a beautiful song named “Mary Did You Know?” It is a song sung to Mary asking her if she knew the importance and life changing significance of the baby she bore. The words are, “Mary, did you know that your baby boy would someday walk on water? Mary, did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters? Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new? This child that you delivered will soon deliver you.
“Mary, did you know that your baby boy would give sight to a blind man? Mary, did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand? Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod? When you kissed your little baby, then you kissed the face of God?
“The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the dead will live again; the lame will leap, the dumb will speak the praises of the Lamb.
“Mary, did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation? Mary, did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations? Did you know that your baby boy was heaven’s perfect Lamb? This sleeping child you’re holding is the great ‘I am!’”
Wow! I wonder if Mary knew what lay ahead for her or if she just trusted that God would provide.
My challenge to you today is to remember that Christmas is about Mary’s little lamb. It is about a God who loved the world so much that he sent his Son here to be our Savior. As we are told in John 3:16, “that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” Mary’s son was sent so that He might live and die so that we might each receive the gift of eternal life.
This is what Christmas is all about.
Just a Christmas thought...
Rick Kraft wishes you a joyous and meaningful Christmas holiday remembering the child whose birth we are celebrating. To submit comments, contributions, or ideas, e-mail to email@example.com or write to P.O. Box 850, Roswell, NM, 88202-0850.
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