This is the last day of these Advent devotionals for 2012. For us, Advent has ended. The joy of Christmas is at hand.
When I first began organizing these thoughts and listing the emotions of Mary, my plan was to have them crescendo and end on the note of joy. But as God would have it, my plan changed. There was one more emotion Mary experienced.
For nine months, Jesus’ mother had participated in an experience no other person in the world has ever had. Within Mary’s virgin womb, the Son of God had grown arms, legs, lungs. He had developed a beating heart. He passed safely from the womb, through the birth canal and into the arms of his mother.
Mary was thankful for the honor of being the only person to have this intimate experience with God’s Son. She appreciated a husband who stayed by her side. She thanked God for granting her strength for that long trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Her heart overflowed with gratitude for her safe labor and delivery. And now she looked to God with praise for the wonder of the Son in cuddled in her lap.
As you gather around your tree and begin to unwrap your gifts, pause. Take a moment to express thanks to your Heavenly Father for the gift of His Son and for all the ways He has blessed you in 2012.
Sing as David did in Psalm 100:4-5:
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and bless his name.
For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation.