My daughter loves to play dress up. Just this weekend, she was dressing up and making me guess who she was pretending to be. She would say, “Gabriel talked to me and now I have a baby, who am I?” To me she looked like my daughter in high heels holding a baby doll with a shawl wrapped around her. To her, she was Mary holding baby Jesus.
Using our imaginations can be lots of fun…even for adults. Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
The power of imagination is the ultimate creative power. One dramatic example of the power of vivid imagination is that of Air Force Colonel George Hall. He was a POW locked in the dark box of a North Vietnamese prison for seven grueling years. Every day Hall played a full game of golf in his imagination. One week after he was released from his POW camp he entered the Greater New Orleans Open and shot a 76.
There is a popular Christmas song called, “Mary did you know” that you have probably heard before. It is a beautiful song that taps in to our imaginations. Did Mary know that Jesus would walk on water, heal the blind, raise the dead? Did Mary know that she was holding the great I Am?
From scripture we know that Mary must have known that her encounter with the Holy Spirit was unusual and a gift from God by the way she responds with her song of praise. It is evident that Mary knew God and God knew Mary. She shares that her soul praises the Lord and her spirit rejoices. She feels blessed and chosen. Even though she may not understand her small part in God’s big plan, she certainly understands God’s mercy and God’s active role in her life and the world. Her song is a beautiful account that answers the question to the song, “Mary did you know?” In my imagination she answers back, “I did personally know God and that was all that I needed.”
As we continue to approach the manger this week, how can we tap into our imaginations to experience the birth of Jesus in a new way? What sounds come to mind when we think of the angels? What smells come to mind when we think of the stable? What do we see in the twinkling stars and in Mary’s arms? What feelings like joy or peace do you feel? Imagine being there and witnessing such a beautiful moment in our world that would change the world forever.
I imagine you still have a to-do list to take care of this week. Add some imagination time to your list. You could even play dress-up! Your errands will be a lot more fun and it may be just what you need to help your soul prepare for Christmas.
Mary responded, “Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!” Luke 1:46