Mary’s Christmas!

As many of us gear up for the “holiday” season I think it’s important that we take time and reflect upon all the fuss we find at every turn. We are bombarded with sales ads, incentives to buy more, more, more and media outlets doing their very best to push the notion that if we don’t participate we are indeed missing out.

The Virgin Mary found favor with God yet her Christmas was one without the trappings of luxury and hoopla we find marketed today. Mary even had to endure some things as she was favored by God.

Mary was pregnant before her marriage to Joseph. I’m pretty confident she had to endure the scandal and gossip of her peers in that day. She probably received the same stares and crazed looks anyone in this day would receive if making a claim of Immaculate Conception.

Mary birthed our Savior in less than ideal surroundings. I can’t think of many women, myself included, who would relish the fact of laboring in a stable. Some thought the King of kings would be born in a lavish inn and greeted with fanfare yet it was instead a “silent night.”

Later still, Mary would bear the responsibility of actually mothering the Son of God. Talk about pressure! I can only imagine what that did to her relationship with Joseph and their family dynamics. Not only was she responsible for Jesus the child but she eventually watched Him die an agonizing death. If she was so favored by God shouldn’t her life have been easier?

Favor from God doesn’t always manifest itself as we think it would. The Bible doesn’t promise an easy life of happiness and bliss. In fact, it assures us there will be trials.

We are often looking for a “fix” to our situations and may presume that God isn’t listening or that we have somehow “failed” when things don’t go as expected. Many people believe that if they are doing everything “right” in their lives, as best they can, they will be carefree and have no worries.

Mary endured much even as she was “favored” by God. She was blessed to be the mother of our Savior but that blessing wasn’t necessarily an easy path for her. And like Mary, we too must handle situations we don’t fully understand and possibly never will but God IS with us!

So, as the holiday lights sparkle and dazzle, remember that Christmas began without elaborate decor or grandeur, no widespread celebrations or multitudes of gifts. These things don’t define Christmas.

“Christmas” began in the most humble of places, with two people obedient to God and His presence upon them. Like Mary, that’s all we need.

“And having come in, the angel said to her, ‘Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” Luke 1:28 NKJV

Merry Christmas!

By Lilka Finley Raphael

Author, Editor, Gardner, Photographer, Pharmacist


  1. What a great article. Not that many people think about it from Mary’s perspective. We recently had church event seeing it from Mary’s point of view. I have started my own blog series dissecting the meaning behind the lyrics in Christmas carols, and I was hoping you could have a look and add your valuable input? Thanks. =)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! I will wander on over some time this weekend and have a look!. I have a huge collection of Christmas Music, a lot of it quite old, that I love. I’m one of “those” people who won’t hesitate to turn it on in late October once it gets cold! Thanks for stopping by today and taking time to comment 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. In relation to Christmas, you might enjoy my posts, “Christmas In The 50s,” and “Christmas of Simpler Times.” Many blessings to you.


  3. Beautiful thoughts, Lilka! You and yours enjoy this holiday season and may your blessings continue in the coming year…



      1. We share that thought in common. I too have wanted to post more often, but realized I needed a bit of a break right now.

        I hope to return soon with new and refreshing ideas and posts!

        Thanks for being “Lilka!”



  4. “I’m so behind in my posts!”

    “These things don’t define Christmas” – nor does being behind define communing in this church of relationship. The conversation you generated, the thinking you have prompted, the connection I feel – that is the true gift of this church. That is the gift you have given. Again. Thank you.


  5. An absolutely excellent post, Lilka! I love the title too…”Mary’s Christmas.” Leave it to you to combine great news with a great story!

    You’re a great young lady. You “knocked it out of the park” with this one!



    1. You are too kind! Thanks as always for the encouraging words. I’ve been a bit absent with Thanksgiving and my work schedule but hopefully I’ll be back on track. 🙂

      Merry Christmas!


      1. Holidays have that effect on many people, Lilka…don’t despair! It would be interesting to know why some feel “down” at these times of the year…

        It may have to do with feeling overwhelmed with all that has to be done, or perhaps the loss of that “child-like” excitement we can’t get any longer. Maybe we have experienced a profound loss or tragedy at or near the holidays. Maybe it’s all of these things…

        Anyway, you are an intelligent and level-headed person with a wonderful soul! I don’t worry that you will “be back on track” again soon!

        Always love hearing from you, and enjoy your day!

        Your Friend,
        Clayton 😉


      2. You are a dear!

        Cold and Flu is my busy time of year plus holiday visitors and keeping up with the kids’ end of semester has me turning around in circles!

        You are also quite perceptive, my Dad passed away right at Christmas fourteen years ago. It can be bittersweet but I try and remember all the great Christmases we shared together. My mom will be here with me in Atlanta so that gives me something to look forward to. Have a wonderful weekend. 🙂


      3. Wow, Lilka, you do have a “full plate!” Not only with things to do, but with emotions to process. I wish for you the very best. You deserve to receive back the love which so obviously give to others!

        Our holiday is made sad this year as well. My father-in-law passed this last Summer, and it will be the first Christmas without him. I told my wife to get a “tree topper” that would remind her of him…

        Your mother’s visit will be of special contentment for you this year. Enjoy your family and friends, hold to them tightly! They are given to us so that we may enjoy them in that way every day, but especially in times of tender emotions.

        We’ll be talking again before Christmas, but please let me wish you and yours a beautiful and meaningful holiday, my dear!

        Your friend,
        Clayton 😉


      4. That first year is very hard I will say…it doesn’t exactly get better with time but it does make me appreciate the loved ones who are still here to enjoy all the more. I can now easily laugh at memories of Christmas Past 🙂

        I wish you and your family all the best, especially your dear wife. Knowing you I’m sure she is one special lady.

        I have this weekend off but so much to do! I’m so behind in my posts!

        Take care and enjoy the blessings of this marvelous Christmas season!



  6. Thank you Lilka for reminding us of the ‘reason for the season’ and certainly giving pause to ponder the true meaning of Christmas. God bless you and your family dear sister 🙂


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