Friday, December 19, 2014

Mary's Journal Entry 14: Return to Nazareth

Previously in this series:
Mary's Journal Entries:
Introduction 1:The Announcement;  2:Elizabeth Visit;  3:Return Home from Elizabeth;  4:After Telling Joseph;  5:Joseph's Revelation;  6:Planning for a Trip;  7:Traveling to Bethlehem8: Arrival In Bethlehem  9: He's Here!!  10: Visitors in the Night   11. Visit to the Temple   12. Running to Egypt  13. Murder of Boys

The following as if journaled from the perspective of Mary, the mother of Jesus...
~~~~~ 

Alas… we have returned to Nazareth.  An angel once again appeared to Joseph telling him King Herod had died. Of course Jesus does not remember anything from when we lived here.  For him it is a time of learning these people, this climate, this place.  But he seems happy here.  Of course, he has seemed happy most anywhere we have found ourselves. 

As long as there are rocks, bugs, dirt, and water… it appears any boy would be happy.  We have been able to accommodate his boyish joys.  I am so thankful yet another move, another transition has gone so very, very smoothly overall.

My Jehovah, provider of peace and sureness in changes.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Mary's Journal Entry 13: Murder of Boys

Previously in this series:
Mary's Journal Entries:
Introduction 1:The Announcement;  2:Elizabeth Visit;  3:Return Home from Elizabeth;  4:After Telling Joseph;  5:Joseph's Revelation;  6:Planning for a Trip;  7:Traveling to Bethlehem8: Arrival In Bethlehem  9: He's Here!!  10: Visitors in the Night   11. Visit to the Temple   12. Running to Egypt

The following as if journaled from the perspective of Mary, the mother of Jesus...
~~~~~ 

My heart is so very heavy.  We have made it safely to Egypt and yet my heart bears the burdens of so many other young mom’s.   I can’t even begin to imagine what they are experiencing at this moment.  I barely let my mind wander to imagine where they find themselves.  It is much too overwhelming for me, and yet for some… it is their reality.  Words don't even seem adequate to describe what my heart is wrestling with.

Word has reached us that King Herod has sent out a decree.  In an attempt to kill my Jesus, all boys 2 years old and under in Bethlehem and the vicinity are being murdered.  No questions, no reasoning, no debating, no hope.  Boys being taken from the arms of their mothers.  No mercy… no justice.  An entire town in utter devastation and mourning… grief stricken beyond belief.  


My mind remembers the words of the prophet Jeremiah: "A sound was heard in Ramah, weeping and much lament.  Rachel weeping for her children, Rachel refusing all solace, Her children gone, dead and buried."

Jehovah, I pray you be my provider of comfort in this moment.  No, rather, be the provider of comfort for every mother that tonight mourns the life of her child and forever has images of his death in her mind.


 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Mary's Journal Entry 12: Running to Egypt

Previously in this series:
Mary's Journal Entries:
Introduction 1:The Announcement;  2:Elizabeth Visit;  3:Return Home from Elizabeth;  4:After Telling Joseph;  5:Joseph's Revelation;  6:Planning for a Trip;  7:Traveling to Bethlehem8: Arrival In Bethlehem  9: He's Here!!  10: Visitors in the Night   11. Visit to the Temple 

The following as if journaled from the perspective of Mary, the mother of Jesus...
~~~~~ 
I am stealing a moment to write.  It has all happened so quickly.  We are fleeing to Egypt under the cover of night.  We had to leave immediately.  There was really no time to pack sensibly or to plan.  We grabbed our essential items and left.  We have left everyone and everything we know…and I’ve barely had a moment to think of it.

The beginning of this journey was quite strange really.  Men showed up.  They were dressed somewhat differently and their language was a bit different.  We could tell they were men of high class. They shared their story.

They were from the East.  They are sky gazers.  Some time ago they saw a star.  A new star.  They followed that star.  They traveled all that way… to worship our Jesus.   

They are calling him King of the Jews.  He is but a toddler and somehow these men know these things already.  They gave Jesus gifts.  Gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  Just before presenting the gifts they bowed… not just a head bow.  They bowed low to the ground. 

It was quite a sight to see these men of very high class giving such costly and unique gifts to a boy, sitting on my lap, a toothy grin, and unable to talk.  I was taken back to that moment not so many months ago when men of a very low class did much of the same thing.  They gave of what they had.  I saw much of the same look in their eyes, the adoration in their voices, and the gentleness in their touch.   

Both high and low among men worship Jesus.

After they left, an angel came to Joseph and warned him that we must escape.  The angel said King Herod was in search of Jesus to kill him?! Of course we wasted no time.  We grabbed a few things and fled.


Here we are, making a very long journey with little preparation, Joseph, myself, and our little one in tow… Jesus.  Is this but the beginning of what is to come?  Fleeing for our lives?

Jehovah, we are trusting you to provide us with protection as we make this long but quick journey.

 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Mary's Journal Entry 11: Visit to the Temple

Previously in this series:
Mary's Journal Entries:
Introduction 1:The Announcement;  2:Elizabeth Visit;  3:Return Home from Elizabeth;  4:After Telling Joseph;  5:Joseph's Revelation;  6:Planning for a Trip;  7:Traveling to Bethlehem8: Arrival In Bethlehem  9: He's Here!!  10: Visitors in the Night

The following as if journaled from the perspective of Mary, the mother of Jesus...
~~~~~ 

We took Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem today.  We also had our sacrifice as stated by the law.

While in the temple courts a very elderly man approached us.  We learned his name was Simeon.  He took our sweet wee Jesus into his arms and praised God.  Joseph and I marveled at what he said.  It didn’t all make sense to me but from what I gathered he was now ready to die since he had seen my boy.  He called him God’s salvation, a God revealing light to the non-Jewish nations, and a glory for Israel.

It was then that my heart began to tremble as he turned to me.  He spoke words I’m not so sure I consider part of a blessing. He told me that Jesus marks both the failure and the recovery of many in Israel.  He told me my boy will be misunderstood and contradicted.  He told me the rejection will force honesty, as God reveals who they really are.  And then the final words came.  He looked deep into my eyes and said, "and a sword will pierce your own soul too".   

I caught a gasp of air in my throat.

I didn’t have much more time to think on the words before Anna came.  She was an elderly woman who had been widowed 84 years after being married only 7.  She was almost running towards us with a little girl giggle and screeching in excitement.  She broke into an anthem in praise to God and talked about Jesus to all who were waiting expectantly for the freeing of Jerusalem.  Our Jehovah has provided an answer for His promises.

It was all a bit different than what I had envisioned! 

I think I’m beginning to see a pattern.  Not my ways… not my thoughts.  God has a plan all his own.