On the third week of Advent my true love said to me “Mary Christmas!”

Then Mary said, “My heart is overflowing with praise of my Lord, my soul is full of joy in God my Saviour. For he has deigned to notice me, his humble servant and, after this, all the people who ever shall be will call me the happiest of women! The one who can do all things has done great things for me—oh, holy is his Name! Truly, his mercy rests on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, he has swept away the high and mighty. He has set kings down from their thrones and lifted up the humble. He has satisfied the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away with empty hands. Yes, he has helped Israel, his child: he has remembered the mercy that he promised to our forefathers, to Abraham and his sons for evermore!” ~ Luke 1.46-55 (Phillips)

The words above that fell from the lips of a young Jewish girl sound strange, almost scripted. The words below that tumbled out of my mind will sound equally strange, maybe even comical. But somewhere in all these words stands this pivotal character in the Advent cast. Here’s how I recall the most fiercest one of them all. And don’t forget to visit Kelly and Winn as they join me today in drawing closer and closer.

Funny, isn’t it?

We know all the biblical characters

on a first name basis.

If we were to let loose the

reins of imagination and

assign last names to them,

which yes is somewhat of a rabbit trail,

I believe Mary would simply have to be called

Mary Christmas.


On second thought maybe Mary

did that on her own, renamed herself

like Cheryl Strayed did in Wild.

Maybe that’s the sorta silent magnificat

off to the side, in the margins,

the one where Mary took everything in,

and I mean EVERYTHING, and said

From now on I will be known as

Mary Christmas.


And instead of hiking the Pacific Coast Trail

Mary embarked on her advent dolorosa, not bent forward by

a beastly backpack but rather a bulging frontpack –

the God who grew more wild and heavy with each step.

Witnesses along the trail wondered why in the world

she would surrender to such a crazy thing.

But she grew more becoming than she ever dreamed,

weathered and blessed in her chosen name, remembered to this day:

Mary Christmas.


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  1. Jody Collins on December 15, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    Your rabbit trail has such wise beauty along the way.

  2. pastordt on December 16, 2014 at 1:03 am

    I love the little breath of whimsy in this one. Thank you.

  3. Kelly Hausknecht Chripczuk on December 16, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    “let loose the reins of imagination”
    Those “rabbit trails” lead to fertile places, I believe.

  4. Rachel Riebe on December 17, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    “The God who grew more wild and heavy with every step.” Carrying the Son of God… staggering. Mary Christmas indeed. Thank you.

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