Mary, Did You Know?

Allyson Joy1261 views

Christmas songs are the best. The rule in our house growing up was that we had to wait until the day after Thanksgiving for the Christmas festivities to begin. Friday was the kickoff for what I like to call “Christmas season”. We would listen to Amy Grant Christmas CDs and spend most of the day putting up decorations. It was possibly my favorite day of the year.

As I got older a thought occurred to me: “Why wait until after Thanksgiving to listen to Christmas music?” I declared that I was in fact an adult and could actually listen to Christmas music whenever I wanted. Is October too early for Christmas? Not in my world.

There are few Christmas songs that I do not like. Up until last year “Mary, Did You Know?” was one of them. I did not care for the tune of the song and therefore failed to listen to the words. That was until my brother introduced me to the Pentatonix version. For the first time I actually paid attention to the meaning of the song.

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would one day walk on water?

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would save our sons and daughters?

Did you know
that your Baby Boy has come to make you new?
This Child that you delivered will soon deliver you.

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy will give sight to a blind man?

Mary, did you know
that your baby boy will calm the storm with His hand?

Did you know
that your Baby Boy has walked where angels trod?
When you kiss your little Baby you kissed the face of God?

Mary did you know.. Mary did you know

The blind will see.
The deaf will hear.
The dead will live again.
The lame will leap.
The dumb will speak
The praises of The Lamb.

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy is Lord of all creation?

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would one day rule the nations?

Did you know
that your Baby Boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
The sleeping Child you’re holding is the Great, I Am.

Throughout my pregnancy and especially since Annabelle’s birth, I have given more thought to an incredible miracle that we often read as another chapter in the Bible. The account in Luke 1 was actually the passage I chose one year for the Bible Reading event in Leadership Training for Christ. And yet, I never gave a lot of credence to Mary’s side of this story. I just assumed that those were different times and it would not be crazy for a virgin to become pregnant. They had prophets and healers and angels. If the people of that time believed in miracles, why not this? A virgin giving birth was believable, right? Wrong. The seemingly impossibility of this event transcends time. The reaction of people in that day would be no different from our reaction now. Imagine if your teenage daughter, friend or sister came home and declared that an angel appeared to her and she was now pregnant by divine appointment. Yeah. Right. I can tell you right now I would not buy it for a second. And yet Mary willingly responds with, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.”

Wow.

What we do not have the account of is all the emotions she must have felt in the coming weeks and months. We fail to remember she was a real girl with real fears and real doubts. She did not have the rest of the story. Mary, did you have even a glimpse of the gravity of your “yes” to the calling of God?

I am also amazed at how quickly she answered the call. She could have said no and God would have achieved his purpose in another way. But clearly her heart was prepared, and when God reached down she was ready to participate in something epic. I think we sometimes live like when a once in a lifetime opportunity presents itself then we will get ready. Or we wait until a crisis happens to realize our need for a savior. Most of the time we do not get advanced notice for unique events. Mary unknowingly had been preparing for this moment for her entire life.

Let’s fast forward to after Jesus’ birth. She willingly said yes to becoming pregnant but now she actually had to be a mother to the Son of God. No pressure, right?

As I am settling into the reality that I am now a mom, I must admit I have felt utterly lost most of the time. More than ever I am realizing my complete dependence on God for everything from the most efficient way to clean up poop that escaped from the diaper to teaching Annabelle from infancy that she is a child of God. Nothing is too big or too small. I can’t help but think of Mary and how she must have felt. I was unaware of how much is involved in raising a child and how much you just don’t know until you experience a situation.

As we near Christmas Day, Mary continues to frequent my thoughts. Did she feel this lost? I want to believe she had exclusive knowledge on how to raise a child. But if Jesus was a man just like us, then he was raised by a woman just like us-young, inexperienced and figuring out motherhood by trial and error just like the rest of us. I want to think everything came easy for her but from what I know from the Bible, she was human, just like us. Remember, the Bible is a book of examples not exceptions. We can then conclude that Mary must have struggled with the usual challenges of motherhood: breastfeeding and tears (hers and the baby’s) and sleepless nights and frustrations and joys and excitements and sweet moments and exhaustion.

The best takeaway I have from Mary’s life is this: the same God who called her to bear the Savior of the world is the same God we serve today. The same power that caused a virgin birth is the same power living in us. The same wisdom that guided Mary as she raised her son is the same wisdom that leads us through each of our journeys.  While we learn from and are encouraged by heroes of faith, they all have one thing in common: God. The working of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit in the life of every Christian is the main point. Everything goes back to Him.

Mary, did you know this was never about you? Mary, did you know that like the rest of us your life is bigger than you? Did you know that the purpose of this calling was to bring glory to God? I would say yes.

May you be encouraged and challenged by Mary’s life and remember most of all that her story, like ours, is a story of Christ.

Complete and utter dependence

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