It’s just over a month since we celebrated Christmas.The decorations are packed away till next year along with the Christmas playlists.But the melodies & words of some songs linger on. Like Pentatonix:
‘Mary did you know…
That your Baby Boy has walked were angels trod?
When you kissed your little baby you kissed the face of God?’
(from a song by Mark Lowry & Buddy Greene)
Mary, did you know?
After centuries of silence from God, He sent His angel Gabriel to appear to this teenager.
The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.”
(Luke 1:30-32 NIV)
This fulfilled the ancient words of the prophet Isaiah:
‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel which means “God with us”’
(Matthew 1:23 NIV)
Even while Mary was pregnant, she grasped her place in the immense plan of God. She said:
‘From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me-holy is his name.’
(Luke 1:48-49 NIV)
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary declared.
Mary’s obedience led to a lowly stable in overcrowded Bethlehem. And there, God stepped into time, wrapped in skin & swaddling cloths.
‘Within moments the hand of the Star Hanger clutched Mary’s finger.The feet of the Sky Walker lay in Joseph’s palm’
It was clear that Jesus was no ordinary baby. Mary & Joseph were visited by shepherds who spoke of angelic choirs, & astronomers from the East who spoke of a guiding star.
‘Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.’
There were many divinely orchestrated extraordinary events to ponder. There must have been so many thoughts in Mary’s mind as she touched her firstborn’s tiny hands & feet & kissed His face. Though she may not have fully comprehended the enormity of God’s plan I think she knew that Jesus was:
Human & divine
Word & flesh
Her son- & God the Son
For Mary, the Christmas story wasn’t just something to be painted on cards or acted in school plays. It was the narrative of her family life, just the beginning of ordinary days with her unique son.
Most of Jesus’ childhood was unrecorded. But when He was twelve, He went missing in the Temple, but was discovered teaching the Teachers ‘in His Father’s House’
‘Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.’
(Luke 2:51-52 NIV)
Mary was there too when Jesus’ ministry began. She was a guest at the wedding in Cana when he performed His first miracle tuning water into wine.
As Jesus performed signs & wonders, healed & preached, opposition grew. Perhaps Mary pondered the ominous words Simeon had prophesied when Jesus was a baby:
‘And a sword will pierce your own soul too.’
(Luke 2:35 NIV)
In chapter 19 of His Gospel, John records that Mary was at the cross. The Son she had bore & raised & nurtured was hanging, crucified- the most shameful death for her perfect son.
And even while dying, he was concerned for her & asked John to take care of his mother when he was gone
Mary did you know at this darkest hour God was at work in history redeeming His people?
Mary’s heart must have broke & her soul was pierced, as she watched the blood stream down His face. Those hands & feet that she’d caressed were nailed to the cross.
Mary, did you know what held Him on that cross?
It wasn’t the nails driven deep.
It was love deeper still.
It was sin – the deepest need of each human soul to be forgiven.
The shocking reality is:
‘It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished’
‘When every unclean thought,
And every sinful deed
Was scourged upon His back
And hammered through His feet.
The Innocent is cursed,
The guilty are released;
The punishment of God
On God has brought me peace.’
The punishment of God
On God has brought me peace.
This is what it cost to save & redeem us. This is why He was called Jesus
‘She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’
(Matthew 1:21 NIV)
Yes, our deepest need is a Saviour. So, at just the right time, God sent His One & Only Son- that we may be forgiven children of God:
‘But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.’
(Galatians 4:4-5 NIV)
Jesus was born to Mary:
‘Born that man no more may die:
Born to raise the son of earth,
Born to give them second birth’
(Hark the herald- Mendelssohn)
Mary did you know?
We’ll never truly know what Mary knew. But we know that she believed.
‘Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!’
(Luke 1:45 NIV)
We are blessed too when we believe!