Sunday, December 23, 2018

Advent Unexpected

No Room in the Inn
Digital Illustration for
Rejoice! Advent Meditations with Mary
Video Series
by Ascension Press

"This was not supposed to happen." Mary may have been thinking that when they arrived at the stable. After their long journey to Bethlehem, they find the city overcrowded with no room for Joseph and his expecting wife. The only place offered to them was a back stable full of animals. This illustration shows the couple inspecting their temporary new home, and the place where the promised Son of God will be born. "Blessed are you..." the angel said months ago to Mary. The stable surely feels a far cry from being "Blessed."

This was not according to the birthing plan, I'm sure. Yet Mary and Joseph did what they had to do. This shows just how strong the two of them were. These conditions prove Mary is not all that meek and mild, but rather the bold woman who sang the Magnificat months before. The social scandal, the journey to Bethlehem, delivering the christ child in a stable—these are all examples of the hardships Mary had to overcome after saying "let it be" to God. In none of these situations would anyone consider themselves "blessed."

Blessed and easy are very different things. Mary is blessed because God is with her. No matter what the world has to throw at her, she can always find strength in God. And that strength will endure a stable birth, a flight to Egypt, parenting the christ child, and ultimately, witnessing that child's suffering and death. 

Mary's strength will eventually pave the way for us all to be "blessed" as well.

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