Table of Contents (yes, it's one of THOSE post ;D):
1. The final day of the Christmas Countdown
2. So, there was this teenaged girl...
Today is the last day of the Christmas Countdown. There is only one day until Christmas. Christmas is tomorrow. One day.
One Waiting Manger...
So, there was this teenaged girl.
She was a good Christian. She was kind and gentle and loved God (she was probably really fun, too, because all real Christians are! XD). She was also a virgin, and her name was Mary.
(Fun Fact #1: "virgin" in the Greek can sometimes just mean "young girl", but in this case, it means, you know, an actual virgin ;D)
Mary was engaged to this great guy named Joseph, who was also a good Christian. He was pretty awesome actually. Really fun, caring, Christian, even brave. They were pretty excited about getting married.
But then God just had to throw a curve ball.
One night, an angel suddenly appears to Mary. *freak out* And the angel said, "Do not be afraid" first.
(Fun Fact #2: We don't know much about angels, but we know one thing for darn sure: they are scary. Every time someone sees an angel, they're panicking so much the angel has to calm them down. Haha, I can see the angels getting impatient now, "*rolls eyes* GOOD GRIEF, WOULD YOU GET A HOLD OF YOURSELF? Oh, I mean DO NOT BE AFRAID.")
So, back to Mary and the angel. The angel says, "God is so proud of you! You're doing great!"
"Guess what? You are pregnant."
Imagine how Mary must have felt. I know I would have been absolutely panicking. I mean, I wouldn't have doubted it or anything--if an Angel of the Lord says you're pregnant, you're pregnant--but I would have been really scared. And I wonder if Mary was afraid she had done something wrong, you know? I mean, I would have been like, "OH MY GOSH, is there something I've...er...missed..."
The angel went on.
"You are to name the child Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."
>insert awkward silence< But despite the weirdness, Mary takes it all rather well and tells the angel she's up for if it's God's plan. She is a little freaked out, though. And what do we girls do when we're freaking out? We go to another girl friend! That's just what Mary did. She went to her cousin Elizabeth's house, and they had a nice chat. Of course, let's not forget Joseph. Eventually, word of Mary's "situation" got around. If you were engaged to a girl, how would react if you found out she was pregnant? O.O Probably something like that, too. But, God sent an angel to Joseph, too, and got him in the loop about being the earthly father of God and everything. Joseph was pretty relieved, and was fine with marrying Mary after all now that he knew what has happening. See, guys, even then you were the last ones to be told what was going on XD But, unfortunately, there comes an annoying development: Caesar Augustus issues a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. Everyone is supposed to go back to his hometown to be counted. Since Mary was engaged to Joseph, she went with him when he made the trip to the O Little Town of Bethlehem ;)
Imagine then tension here. Mary has to be a little irritated with the whole thing
"I'm nine months pregnant, Joseph!"
"Can't you tell Caesar to postpone this thing?"
"Why couldn't you have been born a little closer to home?"
"There better be enough room at the inn..."
And Joseph couldn't have been but so thrilled with the whole thing.
"Of all the times to issue a decree...the middle of--spring."
(Fun fact #3: Even though we celebrate Christmas in December, Jesus was actually born sometime in the spring.)
"I hope the ol' donkey can make it..."
"What if Mary has the baby while we're away...I haven't the slightest idea how to handle this..."
Well, everything seemed to go wrong. Don't you hate that? Just when you think things can't get any worse...
"I'm sorry, sir, there's no room in this inn."
>insert awkward, annoyed silence<
Let's not even get into what Mary must be thinking at this point. But, Joseph presses the innkeeper for help, and the guy points them over to the stables. So, they head on over to the stable and try to get as comfortable as they can.
(Fun fact #4: most of you probably already know this, but back in the day, stables weren't little barns like we have now. They were usually caves!)
So, Mary goes into labor, and now we will graciously switch over to what's happening with the shepherds.
Now, let's get something straight about shepherds. They weren't really considered important. They were kind of like today's garbage men. You need 'em, you'd miss 'em if they were gone, but it's not exactly what every kids dreams of becoming or anything. For the shepherds to be the first ones God had told (aside from the baby's parents, obviously) was ironic to say the least.
That's another thing I love about God: he's got a great sense of humor.
And here comes the part we all know. Say it with me now ;)
"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.'"
Then tons more angels joined them and sang praises to God.
So, with that, the shepherds decided to go and see what the angels had been talking about. And they went into Bethlehem and found the stable, and WHOA! There *is* a little baby here, just like the angels said! (Shocker, right? ;D)
I can only imagine what Mary was thinking now. I'm sure she was overjoyed with Jesus, and I really don't think she minded having random shepherd guys show up at her "doorstep". I do think she might have been a little frightened, though. I mean, having your first child is supposed to be MONUMENTAL already, so imagine the huge burden it would be to have the SON OF GOD. The random shepherds showing up was probably a whole 'nother level of eye-opening to Mary. She was holding the Son of God in her arms, only a few hours old, and already he was drawing people to him.
What a beautiful story, is it not? It has everything a good story should: love, adventure, realism, excitement, irony, and even a little baby. But not just any little baby.
That baby grew up and save my life.
But that's another story ;)
I've been really appreciative of good friends lately. I have lots of acquaintances, but few really close buddies. Lately, I've been getting even closer to those close buddies. I'd like to award some of my good girlfriends and guyfriends if you don't mind :) I'm only awarding a few of you, but don't be upset, I really do love you all!
The Awesome Guy-Friend Award goes to...CAVENDER, KYLE, AND KNIGHTWING!
The Awesome Girl-Friend Award goes to ELLIE, GABRIELLE, BETHANY, AND SHEP (long story there)!
The Jace Wayland Award! Either you love him, or you think he's awesome character, or you remind me of him, or something to do with him. This award goes to ELLIE AND CAVENDER!! If any more of y'all are Jace fans, feel free to take the award under one condition: TELL ME YOU LOVE HIM SO WE CAN SWAP QUOTES! :D ;) Click to enlarge; I love this one XDThe Writing Buddy Award! To those of you who've helped me when I wanted to quit, encouraged me, read my stuff, or let me read yours! Thanks! It goes to Earwen, Shep, Gabrielle, Kyle, and Ellie.Also, I'm going to redistribute some of the awards I've gotten over the months. Just take them if they fit you!
*GASP* Okay, this post is taking FOREVER!!!!!!! Tag from Bleah...
SEVEN THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT ME (but probably do):
1. I have amazing luck. Like, you have no idea. I don't even jinx myself when I say that.
2. I have a problem with double standards.
3. My personal reading record is 187,000-ish words in 12 hours. That is roughly 260 words per minute. I have no idea if that's particularly fast or not. The book was Brisingr.
4. I like metal (music).
5. I'm sort of a hypochondriac.
6. I'm very OCD.
7. I hate turtlenecks. Why? Just read the word again. Jeez.
I'll tag anyone who wants to do it.
Merry Christmas Eve, you guys :) Only one day until Baby Jesus's birthday!