Monday, December 8, 2014

Preparing for Christmas.

This morning as I sat in front of the fire, enjoying the quiet before my house awakened, I wanted to prepare my heart for Christmas. As I began reading in Luke 2, I couldn't get past the first three verses:

"In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register." (NIV)

I was a young newlywed the first time in my voting history a presidential election did not turn out as I hoped. Granted, I married young. So this particular presidential election was only my second. But still.

The memories of sitting in front of the television as the results came in -- as state after state lit up in opposition to my candidate of choice -- are vivid even today. Young me thought the world as I knew it was about to be changed forevermore. Married to an aerospace engineer employed by NASA (you know, the same man I am married to today...he changed careers! smile), I was certain our future was doomed. Doomed. I felt strongly. And I felt emotional. 

I thought at the very least we would be transferred and have to move to *gasp* Houston, TX! And at the worst, hubby would lose his job entirely. I was overwhelmed with my worries about the future.

(Completely aside: I know these were silly worries all. Each of my husband's team is still employed at NASA all these years and all these many presidents later. And three years after fearing a big move, hubby and I would voluntarily begin a trek of moves that took us from Alabama to Chicago, to Minnesota, Texas and Arizona!)

But this morning, as I read how Caesar Augustus issued the decree for the census, I couldn't help but flash back to the fear and doom of those days following that presidential election. I know Mary didn't  have television. I know she didn't get word of the decree via Facebook. But even still, I can't help but wonder if she felt the fear, the sense of doom when she learned a decree had been issued that would affect her very future. Was she afraid when she learned that she and Joseph would have to travel to Bethlehem to be counted?

I can't know. Scripture skips right past any emotions and right to the facts. Much more would happen to impact Mary's life. Much more already had.

I turned back a chapter to meditate on how Mary reacted when the angel told her she would give birth to Jesus:

" 'I am the Lord's servant,' Mary said, 'May your word to me be fulfilled.' " Luke 1:38 (NIV)

And right there I knew was the answer. Mary may in fact have had trepidation. She may have had worries. But her response was no doubt indicative of her heart -- she submitted to God's will.

Truly, is there a better way to prepare our hearts for Christmas? I want to follow Mary's example. I want to lay down any anxieties, any worries, any fear of what tomorrow holds. I want to make room for the Lord's work to be done in me.

I want to be a servant.

Carol - The Blessings Counter