“They went quickly and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. When they saw this, they reported what they had been told about this child. Everyone who heard it was amazed at what the shepherds told them. Mary committed these things to memory and considered them carefully. The shepherds returned home, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. Everything happened just as they had been told.” Luke 2:16-20 CEB
My middle daughter is into scrapbooking – at least she was before she had 8 children. Sometime in the future, I’m sure she will begin again since she has carefully catalogued photos of her children from birth to the present time just waiting to be placed on pages.
Like my daughter, Mary had so many wonderful details to remember about the birth of Jesus, that she “committed these things to memory and considered them carefully.” It made me giggle as I wondered what kind of scrapbook Mary might have kept back then about the birth of her son?
First double-page layout – Preparation for the journey: She might have used lined paper for the background since she had to make lists and preparation plans. Then she’d have placed a copy of the tax decree that caused her late-pregnancy journey, along with photos of the piles of things she planned to take to Bethlehem. Opposite page: a photo of Joseph posing with the donkey he got to carry her the distance since she was 9 months pregnant (she probably included a tummy shot too – just to prove later that she really needed Eeyore, especially when people commented that she must have been crazy to take such a journey in her condition.)
Second double-page layout – On the road to Bethlehem: Maybe Mary took a photo of their resting spots along the way and journaled about how wonderful Joseph was to make her as comfortable as possible. Perhaps she took a photo of the sunset before they settled down for the evening or Joseph preparing breakfast as she rested along the roadside. She probably would have used rustic outdoorsy type background papers for these pages.
Third spread – Arrival in Bethlehem: I’m sure she would have taken photos of the city as they got close. She probably took more photos of the crowds to show her relatives how busy it was. On the opposite page, she probably took a photo of the stable and journaled about how it was the only place Joseph could get; and how he made it as snug and private as possible for her.
Of course, after that, Mary and Joseph would have been pretty busy with the baby who refused to wait another minute to be born. But after he arrived, Mary probably would have had Joseph take photos of the baby and his manger bed and mounted them on background papers printed with straw. A large photo of mother and child would have been the focal point of this layout.
On the opposite page, Mary would have had one of the shepherds take a family photo of the three of them – Mother, Father and Son – to make copies for everyone back home. As the baby slept, she probably would have journaled everything she could remember about his birth and placed it on a tag in a hidden pocket on te page.
Of course, the shepherds would have had their own 2 page spread as they came and shared their story. She’d have posed them around the manger with her son and maybe a lamb or two. Maybe she would have included some texture on the page in the form of some wool and straw embellishments. Journaling the shepherd’s story would have taken center stage on the opposite page. How awesome for them to have heard an angel choir!
Perhaps the last page would be a close-up photo of the infant’s face, sleeping peacefully. The Son of God, yet born to a virgin! I’m sure it was a sight she never would forget in the quiet moments of reflection.
No, Mary didn’t keep a scrapbook with photos, but we have a wonderful word-picture in the Scripture of Jesus birth. Let’s keep these pictures in our hearts and minds through this holiday season and think about them carefully. Jesus is the reason for the season!