In the birth of Jesus God broke into history and drew near to us all. He is Immanuel, “God with us.” Then, as now, many people wanted to keep God out of their lives. They didn’t want their lives to change and to submit to his authority and rule. But Jesus still came from heaven to earth. As one Christmas carol puts it, “He came down to earth from heaven, who is God and Lord of all.” He came into this world in an amazing way when he was supernaturally conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit in Mary’s womb. He was Mary’s Son.
Mary humbly accepted the amazing privilege which God gave her. She responded to the angel who came to tell her the news of what was going to happen to her by saying, “I am the Lord’s servant, and am willing to accept whatever he wants.” She was willing to accept the stigma of being thought to be immoral, and even of Joseph thinking that she had been unfaithful to him. When King Herod tried to kill her son, she accepted having to flee into exile in Egypt where the family became asylum seekers in a foreign country. She stood at the foot of the Cross as her son died and experienced the piercing grief of bereavement. He was Mary’s son.
Mary’s son was also her Saviour. Mary was not a sinless person, she was like us all. She was, however, someone who wanted to really know God in a deep way. She responded to the angel Gabriel by saying, “Oh, how I praise the Lord. How I rejoice in God, my Saviour!” She was a thoughtful person who reflected on everything that happened to her son. After the shepherds came to visit the baby Jesus “Mary quietly treasured these things in her heart and thought about them often.” After the cross and resurrection, like the disciples, Mary fully realised why they had been told to call him Jesus. He was indeed her Saviour as well as her son. She had carried him in her womb and cared for him through his life. Now by his death and resurrection he had saved his people, including his mother, from their sins.
What will this Christmas be like for you? What do want most for Christmas? We all need to find what Mary found. Mary’s Son came to save us from our sins. He came to be “God with us”, not only at Christmas but always, in this life and forever.