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Thursday, December 26, 2019

I Pray You A Mary Christmas

A Message from "Banana Man"
Chris Battin
Rather than handing out my song sheet during my Christmas visits, I prepared the following letter which seems to have been well received.  Here is a link to the original handout.

The Birth of Jesus

Luke 2:2-20
At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, to whom he was engaged, who was now expecting a child. 

6 And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. 7She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger because there was no lodging available for them.

The Shepherds and Angels

That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior[1]—yes, the Messiah[2], the Lord[3]—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others-the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in highest heaven,
    and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
15 When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger[4]. 17 After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. 18 All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, 19 but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. 20 The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.

Dear Friends,                                 

I see you in this Bible reading. 

Do you see the star above?  Read those bold words carefully:  And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born.    She gave birth to her firstborn son.

"The time came
for her baby to be born."

That means that her body decided it was time for the birth of her son.  Her body had done its part in creating, forming and protecting him. 

Between those two lines:

The time came… & …She gave birth

Mary endured a lot of physical pain and discomfort.  If you're a lady who has given birth, you know this first hand.  Even if it was made less intense by medical help, you didn't have a choice but to go through some pain and discomfort.  Guys, if you're a Dad, your lady endured a lot of pain and discomfort so as to give birth to that new life.  If you're not a parent, you can know that the woman who birthed you endured pain and discomfort so as to bring you into this world.  

Your body or that of your lady or Mom decided the time had come to go through the pain and discomfort and give birth to a new life.

With the birth of her Son, Mary would have all but forgotten the pain and discomfort of childbirth.  She may have forgiven the misery and been thankful that it was over.  She would have looked into the eyes of her Son, this new life in her arms, and decided that for as rough as it may have been, enduring the pain and discomfort was worth it.  

Be Mary.
There's a new life inside of you waiting to be born.  To give birth to your new life, even with medical help, you must endure some amount of pain and discomfort.  When you are ready, I encourage you to see the pain and discomfort of detox and withdrawal as the labor pains preceding the birth of your new life.  Upon the successful delivery of your new life, your pain will be all but forgotten.  Like Mary as she raised her son, you will raise your new you.

Mary's body decided it was time to give birth to this new life.  It was not her decision as to when this would happen.  It is your decision as to when to go through your pain and discomfort and give birth to your new life.

You've heard it said that you must hit "rock bottom" before your moment of decision comes.  Mary went through her pain and discomfort so as to give birth to your Rock.  You do not have to wait for the circumstances of your life to take you to that rock bottom moment of decision.  You can call out to Jesus, The Son of Mary, The Son of God, The Rock, to be your Rock to bear your pain and discomfort while you give birth to your new you. 

In the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:24 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.

Thank you for being you!  You are very much loved in the Name of Jesus, the Son of Mary, The Son of God, Your Rock if you so choose, whose birth we celebrate!


Romans 10:9-10 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

[1] somebody who rescues somebody or something from harm or danger
[2] in Christianity, Jesus Christ regarded as the Messiah prophesied in the Hebrew Bible
[3] in Christianity, God or Jesus Christ
[4] a trough from which livestock eat

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