Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Mary, did she know? A Christmas Eve reflection

As Christmas Eve approaches, I think about Mary. A young girl, pregnant and married to a man she barely knows. She’s nine months pregnant and on an uncomfortable journey to Bethlehem for the census. When I was nine months pregnant, I was very uncomfortable, everything ached and I had modern conveniences. I can only imagine the aches and pains of Mary as she traveled on a donkey on a very long road. As they arrive in Bethlehem, her child is coming and she has to settle in a stable. A stable filled with smelly livestock as the baby Messiah begins His journey into the world.

I never truly grasped Mary’s journey until I am became a mother. The song, “Mary, did you know?” took on a whole new meaning. The song was written by Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene and originally recorded by Michael English in 1991. The song has since been covered by countless artists, most currently by Pentatonix, an a Capella group. The song asks Mary if she truly realized all the wondrous miracles that her child would grow up to do. A tiny baby who depends so much on his mother will one day fulfill the prophecies that Mary would have learned as she grew up. When Gabriel came to her with his birth announcement, did she fully understand then? Did she realize his mission at all the miracles he performed. Or did she fully understand as she watched him die on the cross? I think she did know, feared the future because she knew that God’s plan was greater than a mother’s love.

Committing herself to God’s will opened Mary to many different scenarios. At worst, she would be stoned to death for what she claimed. At best, she would be ridiculed. Knowing this, Mary said, “May it be as you have said” (Luke 1:38). When did she share this news with her family and friends, did she know the skepticism she would face? I admit if someone today claimed that she would become pregnant with God’s child and he would become the Messiah, I would believe she was crazy. Did Mary receive this reaction too? I’m sure she did and she still kept the faith and allowed God to use her to bring His son into the world. Her faith was courageous. She risked everything for God’s will and promise. She would have a child and raise him. He would go out into the world and perform miracles. She would watch him suffer for the sins of the world.

Mary had a small mention in the Bible but she played a big role in fulfillment of the prophecy which would bring the world her Messiah. This Christmas as you celebrate the birth of Jesus, remember the young girl who said yes to God, despite the cost to her life. Her story is an example of how God uses everyone in great and small ways for His purpose.

Merry Christmas to you all!