Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mary's Advent Season

As you might imagine, I can't help but find myself thinking about Mary this year.

When I feel our little girl moving, I marvel. I love thinking about a real person, an eternal soul, growing and developing inside of me. I ponder my hopes and dreams for her. I talk to her about her family, about God, about the world. I tell her how much we love her and always will, no matter what. I dream about the day that's coming when I can see her precious face, her hands, her feet.

Then I wonder: What must it have been like for Mary to have the Christ child kicking and squirming insider her belly? Did she feel silly telling Him things He must already know? Did she feel the tension between her calling to be a mother yet her utter unworthiness? Did she feel closer than ever to God because His son was growing inside of her?

Until recently, I read the Advent story as a series of rapidly snowballing events. You know the deal: Gabriel tells Mary she will conceive, she praises God, Joseph comes to his senses, they goes to Bethlehem, Mary has baby Jesus. I forget that she went and visited Elizabeth for three months and that her belly grew as others mocked her virginity. I don't think about the fact that she waited patiently through every phase of pregnancy, that she likely had fears about losing her baby, that she would have squealed with delight at that first kick, that she would have been sick, uncomfortable, exhausted. In short, I lose sight of the fact that Mary's Advent season was eight months longer than ours. Yet her attitude was this: "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." (Lk. 1:38)

There's a reason Mary's situation is so inconceivable (pun intended), but I do know one thing. What Mary waited for with eager anticipation, we already have. For us, Advent is a joyous reminder that Christ has already come. He was the Word made flesh. He has accomplished what was foretold to Mary so many centuries ago. Every year, people throughout the world get together and celebrate this one pivotal event in history. And what a miraculous event it was.

If you find yourself in a period of waiting, that's a good thing. Whatever is growing inside you may just change your due time. Sure, I can't wait for the moment when our little girl enters the world, but would I give up her healthy development in order to see her sooner? Absolutely not. I'll take the wait.

For other good reads on Mary and various seasonal things, check out the following:
I Wonder If Mary Had Morning Sickness
The Ministry of Mary
The 5 Types of Christmas Cards (This is hilarious.)
Of Kids and Christmas
The Beauty of Imperfection
And, of course, Luke 1-2.

1 comment:

  1. I love the double meaning of Advent. Having been in the midst of a family waiting for the arrival of their son this summer, i started to understand Advent differently too. It's both remembering that Christ has come, but it's also waiting for his return! Experiencing the waiting with the family real-time reminded me that we are to always live the way we would if our time was short--if we knew that God would come to reign on earth imminently.

    happy waiting!