by Molly Audiss
The Christmas song has become famous in recent years, “Mary, Did You Know?” I like that song; it makes me think. I have thought through many times about all the things Mary went through- from the day an angel gave her the news of her role in the Messiah’s appearance on Earth- all the way through her pregnancy, delivery- through the 33 years that followed, as she literally “raised” God in flesh. Wow. It’s mind-blowing.
The song ponders the question of how much did a young Jewish girl truly realize about the Christ as she looked down on her newborn child. It’s a good question. The Bible gives us insight into the answer. The fact is, Mary DID know. As a devout Jew, she knew all that was prophesied in the Old Testament about the coming Messiah. Daniel had prophesied the time of his arrival. Isaiah told about his brutal death, his sacrifice for all mankind. Every time an animal was sacrificed, Mary, and all Jews, knew that it was a picture of the future Saviour Who would come to save them from sin. Their faith in that coming Messiah is the same faith that would give them eternal life. The same faith that gives us all eternal life, even today. All people in history have looked to God’s perfect substitute for salvation, even if they did not yet know His Earthly name. But, Mary knew. She was the first to know. That name would be Jesus.
But Mary knew more than that, more than she probably wanted to know. Eight days after she gave birth, they officially named their child Jesus. After 40 days, Joseph and Mary came to the temple in Jerusalem with their firstborn son, to offer sacrifice, according to Jewish law. (Leviticus 12:1-8) As they were there, a devout, well-known, and well-respected man named Simeon came up to them, took the child into his own arms (not sure how I would feel about that as a Mom!) and spoke a prophecy. It was an amazing moment. The new parents marveled at this man’s words as he blessed them. Then Simeon looked at Mary and gave her a very specific prophesy from the Lord…
And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. -Luke 2:34-35
It’s that one phrase in parenthesis that always makes me shudder as I read the Christmas story. The man of God told Mary that she would feel the pain in her soul that her Son would endure physically. He prophesied truth. Thirty-three years later, as Christ hung on the Cross and the soldiers pierced His side with a sword….his mother would be standing there, watching it, and she would feel it as if was happening to her.
Yes, Mary knew.
Moms, you understand. When your child suffers, you suffer. When they are rejected or bullied or mistreated, it hurts you as much or more as it hurts them. It’s part of being a Mom. I remember a time my son was hurt by a fellow student. After I dropped him off at school the next day, I sobbed. I could barely drive I was crying so hard. I called a friend and shared that I felt physically ill. It literally felt that the rejection had happened to me, it hurt so bad. Moms, you know that feeling. All the tears; all the prayers.
As Christ grew, and learned for Himself Who His real Father was, Mary was there. As Jesus began to understand His purpose….Why He came…..What He would have to do…..Mary was there for her Son, her Saviour. She could not shield Him from pain, or else the world, including herself, would have no hope of Heaven, no chance to reconcile with God. She knew, but I doubt knowing made it easier. Those years were probably very hard years for Mary because
Mary knew that to love meant to sometimes feel pain. Ladies, we know that, too. We know that loving people will sometimes bring pain, but we love anyway. This Christmas, let us love like Mary loved.
This holiday is not a celebration of us, nor was the first Christmas a celebration of Mary. It was about Jesus. It is always about Jesus. But we can assume the role of Mary in our own Christmas season this year….we can love. We can give love without shying away from the pain of loving. We will be with people today. We will be giving our gifts, our time, our efforts for others this holiday. Any time people are involved, the possibility of pain will be there. Our love may be rejected, overlooked, taken for granted, or misunderstood. Yet, we will keep loving like Jesus, for Jesus. Let us, like Mary, love until the very end of our lives. Even if it feels that a sword is piercing our souls, we will keep loving Jesus. And how do we love Him? By loving His people. Every. Single. One. Every. Single. Day.
Christmas Day is the very best day to love, unselfishly, fully, without reserve. No matter how it may feel. It’s all worth it for the Lord. Loving God means loving people.
We wish you a wonderful, Christ-filled Christmas.❤️