Everyone knows the story of Christmas. But how much do we know about Mary? What must she have felt, thought, dreamed or imagined when she was chosen by God to bear His Son? What went through her young mind as she experienced the miracle of the new life growing within her?
Lo, a Star chronicles nine months in the life of the special young woman who would become the Mother of Jesus. Mary's emotional and spiritual journey, as well as her physical one, is explored, culminating in the long and arduous trip to Bethlehem with Joseph. Travel with her as she faces her own fears and doubts, and comes to understand her holy destiny.
This is a story of faith and love, of trust and hope, and the awesome power of God. Through Mary's experiences, you will see that no matter what challenges you may encounter in life, you do not have to face them alone.
Mary was alone, and praying that hot, sultry afternoon. Even as a young child, Mary had spent time each day talking with her Lord. The small room where she knelt was in shadow; the single window heavily draped against the suns relentless rays and the stifling heat.
Even though her eyes were closed, the brilliant light that suddenly filled the room drew Mary's attention and she instinctively turned toward the window. The curtains were still in place, but now the room glowed brightly, a great light reflecting off the weathered woven threads. Startled, Mary felt a tingle of fear as she twisted around to try to discover the source of this strange light. The light was so intense that Mary raised her arm to shade her eyes. And, then her fear became awe and she was filled with wonder as what now appeared to be a glowing figure began to speak “Rejoice highly favored one, the Lord is with you, blessed are you among women.”
Mary did not move, but the gentle, melodious voice somehow eased her fear. She lowered her hand and looked away and then back at the glowing figure. “Could this be an angel?” she wondered. The light did not seem so blinding now, but the whole room seemed to shimmer as the glowing figure continued speaking, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God and behold, you shall conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest, and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His Kingdom there will be no end.”
The angel paused and Mary tried to think about the words she had just heard. In the quiet room, the angel's strange message seemed to echo over and over in her mind. But, she thought, or did she say it aloud, “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?”
Mary Lou Merryman graduated from the University of Maryland and the Methodist Theological Seminary of Ohio. She and her husband are co-pastors of two churches in Central Ohio. They have three daughters, nine grandchildren, and many great grandchildren. She felt called by God to write Lo, a Star, her first book.