By Justin Rossow
Mary was preparing. Mary had recently been betrothed to Joseph, so she was already his wife. Now she was preparing for the wedding ceremony that would send her out of from under her father’s room and into her husband’s home, and arms, and bed.
Mary was preparing. Had she finished her wedding dress? Were all of the invitations sent? Had they finalized seating arrangements for the reception?
Mary was preparing for her wedding day, and, as a part of the faithful people of God, Mary was preparing for a larger, grander, eternal wedding feast,
promised throughout the pages of her Scriptures,
talked about in the words of her favorite songs,
hinted at every time a husband and wife came together to speaking promises of love and faithfulness.
So Mary was preparing, for her own wedding feast, and for the wedding banquet of Messiah, who was promised to come and rescue His people and bring them into the eternal feast of the very presence of Yahweh.
Mary was preparing, but she wasn’t prepared for what happened next: an angelic messenger, a startling promise, a unique role to play in the story of God’s salvation. Suddenly, the two worlds of Mary’s faith and Mary’s daily life came crashing into each other.
In many ways, that’s what Christmas is all about: God’s eternal plan comes crashing into your everyday routine. As you prepare gifts and meals and room in the inn for out of town guest, God Himself shows up to give you an unexpected promise.
The Eternal Wedding Feast of the Lamb is just around the corner, and God has gone out of His way to make sure there’s no mistake: YOUR name is on the invitation. The gift of Jesus is intended for YOU. The promised Messiah, sent to redeem the whole people of God, was also sent to redeem YOU.
Whatever you are busy preparing this Christmas, be assured of this: God has been preparing this very night for thousands of years, just so YOU could spend eternity with Him.
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Editor’s Note: This reflection was the second of five shared in worship at the 7:30 PM Christmas Eve worship service at St. Luke–Ann Arbor. Special thanks to Lisa McCleary–who also sang a Mary solo–for presenting these words.