And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.”
Thought for the Day: I have a plan for you, just follow where I lead.
Mary is depicted in thousands of images that have been painted or drawn through the ages as riding on a donkey across the countryside. That silhouette of a very expectant woman sitting on the donkey as a man walks along beside her is what I visualize as I hear the story of Mary. As I look at that image today, I wonder what Mary was thinking as she rode those many days to get to Bethlehem. The first thought, I imagine, was the remembrance that an angel of the Lord had come to her and told her she would bear God’s son. Then, I feel sure, were the thoughts that she was traveling across hard country as was about to give birth. I wonder what she was thinking. Did she think, “What if the baby is born right now as I sit upon a donkey?” or “What if the baby doesn’t have a place to lay?” But then, I can see her look up into the Heavens and pray, “Lord, be with us and keep this baby safe.” And finally, I can hear God say to her, “Child, you are carrying my only Son and I have a plan for you. Just follow where I lead and this baby will be safe.” I can imagine her smiling then looking down at where the Baby Jesus is safe and secure in her womb. “God is with us.”
Today, as I look expectantly toward Christmas morning when we will awake to the coming of the Baby Jesus, what will I feel? What do I feel today? Today, I will think about the things that need to be done for my family as we prepare for Christmas. Today, I will think about what I need to do to prepare my heart for that morning. I will pray, “Lord, be with us and keep us safe.” Then I will remember that God has already said, “I have a plan for you – just follow where I lead.” Remember Mary in your heart today and the faith she had as she carried the Son of God, and then as she gave birth to Baby Jesus on that Christmas long ago.
Prayer: Lord, be with us today and keep us safe. Thank you God for the blessings you give us each day to remind us of your love and that you are leading us through the path you have for us. Be with those searching for your love today and help them see that Your hand is reaching down to take theirs if they will only accept it. Amen.
Prayer Focus: THOSE ANTICIPATING CHRISTMAS