Scripture Readings: Luke 2:15- 20

“All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.”

Luke, physician, writer of gospel

Mary did not know. Joesph did not know. They knew God had blessed them, not unlike Mary’s cousin Elizabeth, but they did not know their son was the One, the Messiah. Not until the angels told the shepherds that evening in the field did the true meaning of this birth come all together. The angel told Mary, her baby would be born holy, and be called “the Son of God”. Elizabeth told her “your child is blessed”; she referred to Mary as the mother of the Lord. And Joseph, the angel told him that “the child within Mary was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and he will save the people from their sins”. But no one knew until these lowly shepherds referred to their son as the Savior of the world.

Is it possible they did not know? It puts a new twist on the song “Mary did you know?” I believe that she did not know. God can do miracles in our lives, but sometimes its’ in the future when the whole picture comes together. Mary “kept it in her heart”, a humble servant of God. May we all be more like Mary; seeing, feeling God’s work in our lives, but never assuming or feeling entitled with His gifts.

Nativity Fast

After the fast is over on Saturday, those that choose to continue the journey of eating only plants, I have a recipe for you. It’s not oil-free, but a great addition to the Christmas dinner repertoire. We made it last year for Christmas dinner and planning on adding it again this year to our Italian feast. It’s a vegan lasagna created by a favorite blogger, A Couple of Cooks; BTW, I have failed miserably with this fast the last few days. Parties and get-togethers with friends led me astray. At home, I’m still keeping up the goal, but I remind myself that God does not call us to fast, we do that in our own choices to honor Him and grow closer. God does call us to worship and praise Him. Our daily reading of his Word honors Him and enriches our lives unimaginably. Looking at the Christmas story microscopically as we have done these 22 days, is life-changing, at least it has been for me.