The end of the story

Each Christmas I pull out my little stable and figurines, dusting them off after a year in confinement. Setting them up in our living room, I tell my children the story that the tableau represents.

Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem. Mary was pregnant and had to give birth in a barn. The shepherds came to visit the baby Jesus because the angels told them to. The wise men followed the star to come give presents to the baby Jesus.

He came to die for our sins.

He came to die for my sins.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. {John 3:16}

The story doesn’t end in the stable.

::

I have always loved the verses in the gospel of Luke that tell of Mary treasuring up moments with Jesus in her heart; moments to ponder later.

However, there’s a moment that Mary witnessed; a horrifying, gut-wrenchingly, helpless moment that I’m sure no mother would ever want to remember.

But standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. {John 19:25}

What did Mary ponder in that moment? Was she angry, confused, heartbroken? Or, had she learned from her Son, from His Father, that this was necessary and to be expected? Did her heart swell with pride as she witnessed her Son fulfill His purpose in coming to earth?

As they wrapped His lifeless body in the burial cloths did she flashback to the treasured moment stored in her heart of wrapping His newborn body in swaddling?

This Christmas, while we’re celebrating the birth of the Babe in the manger, I’m also choosing to celebrate the Man on the cross.

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23 thoughts on “The end of the story

  1. Beautiful post. Touching song. It really blessed me. I imagine Mary felt all those things…can’t imagine her mothers heart watching it all unfold.

    • Yeah, I’d never really thought about it before, but it hit me pretty hard when I was writing this post. What a horrible, wonderful moment to experience.

  2. So very beautiful Melissa. We’re reading Celebrating a Christ Centered Christmas by Sharon Jaynes. She suggested not putting baby Jesus in the manger so people will ask where He is. At that we answer, “He’s coming soon!”. I realize in celebrating the man on the cross we can respond in the same way.

    • Thanks Tony! I haven’t been able to check out the other posts yet today, it’s been kinda hectic. I’m hoping to be able to sit down tonight and read them. Looking forward to yours. Merry Christmas! :)

  3. Thank you–I love your thoughts and the heart-felt song. I can never think about Jesus’ first coming without going to the cross…and beyond it. When I think of Christmas I celebrate Jesus’ coming to show us the way to the Father, His death and resurrection into life and power, and the pouring of that life and power into my own spirit by the Holy Spirit…and His coming yet again in a way the world does not expect. He came as a Lamb. He will come again as a Lion. And His glory will fill the earth like the waters cover the seas! Blessings to you this Christmas, and in the new year.

  4. “The story didn’t end in the stable.” I love that. So thankful we can celebrate not just that, but the Man on the cross and up from the tomb. Have a blessed Christmas!

  5. It gives so much more impact to consider the whole story. It’s sad that we can too often focus on one or the other, but taking the full extent of His love into account from birth to life to ministry to cross to resurrection–it’s overwhelming and amazing. Thanks for the great thoughts today, Melissa, and merry Christmas to you and your family.

  6. It gives so much more impact to consider the whole story. It’s sad that we can too often focus on one or the other, but taking the full extent of His love into account from birth to life to ministry to cross to resurrection–it’s overwhelming and amazing. Thanks for the great thoughts today, Melissa, and merry Christmas to you and your family.

  7. Straight for the jugular… it’s fierce the path Jesus chose. What joy there is to know three days later… I can’t even imagine Mary’s JOY! Merry Christmas, Melissa! We have the third day… Loved how you went straight to unwrapping Jesus today! That was g-o-o-d. I’ve LOVED taking in your Unwrapping Jesus posts this month. Your example encourages me, sweet friend!

    • Thanks Bonnie! :) Merry Christmas to you and your family! Loved taking part in the Unwrapping Jesus posts, can’t wait to see what you come up with next. Haha!

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  9. I’m so glad the story doesn’t end here. I’m thankful the cross looms over the stable. I’m thankful that the story doesn’t end there.

    Thanks for another great post!

    Merry Christmas, Melissa!

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