When I was a little girl, I looked forward each year to my own rendition of the nativity. I would insist on wearing a blanket over my head to act out being Mary, performing the entire story all over the basement or living room with whatever siblings or friends I could pull in for participation. Besides acting it out myself, I’d also act it out with the nativity figurines, always ensuring the wise men were far off from the rest of the nativity set, because, of course, they weren’t there on the actual birth night.
My love for this story continued through Kindergarten where I got to play the part of Mary! I was the only one with a line, and I only had one – in response to the angel Gabriel, I said something like “let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)
As I’ve grown older, the story of Mary has taken on new meaning for me through my involvement with the pro-life movement. I learned over time just how much Christmas means.
If an unborn child is less than human, than we would be saying that Christ was less than human when He came. No Christian can justify abortion when meditating on the Christ-child. Mary, herself impoverished, desperate and unmarried (in a “crisis pregnancy,” so to speak) still chose life. Plus she endured the pain of traveling while pregnant, being denied even a room at the inn! And yet through it all she was able to say she was blessed.
The story shows us the dignity of both unborn children and their mothers, who we should all encounter as if they were Mary and Christ. The story reminds us that it was an unborn child who saved us all! We must remember that there is powerful potential in each child, even though their birth might be unexpected. It was even an unborn child – John the Baptist – that was the first to recognize our Savior when he leaped in the womb (Luke 1:41).
This beautiful story can and should be imagined and reimagined. This year, I’ve meditated on the innkeeper. Did he want to turn them away? Could they not afford to pay? Did the other guests refuse to share their rooms? The rich power of imagination ironically might just help us understand more of the truth of how profoundly amazing the nativity really is.
Music has also helped make this more real to me, and I would love to recommend a few songs written about the experience of Mary. May they bless you as you imagine the first Christmas, and rediscover how that first Christmas effects your Christmas this year, about how that sacred birth inspires our pro-life movement today. May they inspire you to help mothers in need.
“You’re Here” by Francesca Battistelli
I’m holding you so near, I’m staring into the face of my Savior, King and Creator
“Breath of Heaven” by Amy Grant
Do you wonder now, when you see my face, if a wiser one should have had my place?
“Labor of Love” by Point of Grace
For the baby in her womb, He was the maker of the moon
“The Magnificat” by Keith and Kristyn Getty
I rejoice in God my Savior, in the wonder of His favor
“Be Born in Me” by Francesca Battistelli
The only thing my heart can offer is a vacancy, I’m just a girl, nothing more, I am willing, I am yours
“A Baby Changes Everything” by Faith Hill
My whole life is turned around, I was lost but now I’m found