Holy Pregnancy

Being pregnant during the season of Christmas gives a fresh and poignant meaning to the Christmas story. 

Luke 2: 4-7  The Kings James Version says … ” And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David.  To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.  And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.  And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”

        And Mary, being great with child…   As far as being “great” with child, there are several meanings for the word “great”:

Great as in wonderful

Great as in large

Great as in significant.

I have felt all these meanings of “great” when I was pregnant, not necessarily at the same time or throughout my pregnancy.  We have two daughters who are currently pregnant. Each expressed to me last week that she was feeling “great” as in “large”. Each is also past the first trimester, so they are not experiencing that tired or queasy feeling any longer – they are also feeling “great” as in wonderful. One of these pregnancies was “planned” by the parents – one was not.

I say planned by the parents because I learned something from a friend years ago. The Bob Bryan family had three older children and a gap of about 17 years and then another child. People often asked if this late-in-life baby was planned. Bob would answer “Yes, this baby was planned from the foundations of the world.” What a true and meaningful response!

Each baby is planned by God as stated in Jeremiah – “I knew you when you were formed in your mother’s womb.” There are no “accidents” in God’s plan for each life.

Mary did not plan her pregnancy – in fact the timing was very problematic. It took a visit to Joseph by an angel to validate the legitimacy of Mary’s pregnancy. She was also near the end of her pregnancy when her husband said that they must travel to Bethlehem. Before prenatal visits and ultrasounds Mary did not know her “due date”. Yet, God had it all prepared according to His plan. He knew just when and where His Son would be born. He had angels ready to announce it to the shepherds and placed an extraordinarily bright star to shine over the birthplace. Even though there was no room in the Inn, God chose a place that has allowed people from every tongue and nation to identify with the lowly birth of the Lord of Lords and King of Kings – Jesus.

In Luke 1: 46 -49 –  Mary praises God for what the angel told her about her impending pregnancy.

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
My spirit rejoices in God my savior.
For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness;
behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.
The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.”

As we celebrate this Christmas season, we can also celebrate the fact that each child we have is planned by God – through birth, adoption, or foster care. As Mary did, we praise God for the great things He has done, greatest of all sending His Son, Jesus.

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3 thoughts on “Holy Pregnancy

  1. Suzanne says:

    Gayle, I have identified with this for months now!! My due date is January 2nd and it has been the neatest joy to experience pregnancy during the Advent season. As I walk through every emotion in anticipation of our first child, I wonder if Mary shared some of these feelings. Of course there is curiousity, and the uncertainty of how life will change. There is the quiet resolve that I cannot imagine what is to come and how I will fill my new role. Sometimes there is a freak out moment but somehow during this season especially, the Prince of Peace reigns and I am affirmed over and over again. It has put me in a constant state of knowing that this amazing gift is one He will see to the finish, and He will carry me through every unknown as it has clearly been His plan. I know He has gone before (It’s not just the timing of the life He has planned, but the life itself.) and will meet every need of mine and the child’s, and that His desires, plans, and love for this child are even greater than my own. Isn’t each child a child of promise?

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  2. Suzanne says:

    I thought of one more thing that has resonated with me the last few months and I feel is especially relevant. (I hope the Lord reminds me of all these truths as our child gets older!) Just like Mary, I feel so honored to have been chosen to receive this gift and grateful to be a part of the Lord glorifying Himself through this life! The idea that the child is a blessing to us is contrasted by the thought that we are simply stewards of this precious gift. I find great delight in the gift, but know that he or she ultimately belongs to their Heavenly Father!

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  3. Suzanne, Thank you so much for sharing these thoughts. I agree that it is humbling to be aware that God has decided to trust us with the stewardship of one of His precious little ones! It is also a blessing to know the Prince of Peace will dwell with us as we parent. God is faithful and His love for our children is limitless, as you stated. As grandparents we are blessed to watch His plan unfold! (your mom is so excited!)

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