"There the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel."
Last night I had my annual viewing of the movie, "The Nativity Story." It is my favorite because of how beautiful and real it is. Each year I seem to glean a little more gold from it and last night was no exception! There is a scene when Mary and Joseph are nearing Bethlehem and an old shepherd invites them to warm by his fire. Mary thanks him for his kindness and the shepherd tells her that his father used to say that everyone is given a gift. Hers is the child she carries in her womb. "What is your gift?" Mary asks the shepherd. Her tells her he is still waiting to find it. After the birth of Jesus, the shepherds begin to come to the cave to see what the angels have proclaimed to them and the old shepherd is among them. Mary sees him and he tenderly, yet hesitantly, reaches out to touch the tiny baby in her arms. His hand is dirty and shaky as he reaches out for the baby. Just when you think Mary would pull the new baby closer to her, away from the dirty hand, Mary extends the baby toward the shepherd and says "He is for all people...Everyone is given a gift." It reminded me of Jesus' ministry, extending himself to the poor and the lowly, just as his mother extended him for the poor shepherd to touch with his shaking, dirty hand. It makes me tear up just typing this, Friends. Our God came as one of us to reach out to the poor...let's ponder that today. Love, heidi