[reprinted from December 9, 2010 – It touched my heart again this year.]
In the sixth month of Elizabethâ€™s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, â€œGreetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!â€
Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. â€œDonâ€™t be afraid, Mary,â€ the angel told her, â€œfor you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!â€ Â Â Luke 1:26-33 (NLT)
Most Bible historians put Maryâ€™s age between 12-14 when the angel appeared to her. I was 24 when I had my first child. (Uh, children. I had twins!) The appearance of an angel would have confused and disturbed me even at my age! Unlike me, however, Mary probably knew something about the prophecies and Godâ€™s promises to send a Messiah that would come from Davidâ€™s lineage. I also bet she knew that this was also her husband Josephâ€™s lineage. She had nine months to ponder these words and pray.
Later, in Lukeâ€™s gospel, we learn that at the time that Jesus is presented in the temple, Mary is told by Simeon that a sword would pierce her soul (Luke 2:35). Mary, in my mind, was the first soldier in Jesusâ€™ Army. She was drafted by God. She served faithfully and with great courage. Mary did not flinch even when she was warned that there was going to be great pain involved.
Being a parent is the most awesome job; the most horrific job; the best job! I had my moment of panic before each child was born when I wondered how I was good enough to raise a child. Unfortunately for my children, it wasnâ€™t until they were 16, 16, and 8 that I learned that there actually is an Ownerâ€™s Manual â€“ the Bible â€“ to advise me. I learned to call on the Holy Spirit to give me wisdom when the questions are hard and answers seem murky. And pain? Yes, there is pain involved in being a parent. Having a child say, â€œI hate you!â€ is only the beginning.
Mary had her child ridiculed. She had siblings fighting. We believe that her husband died and then her eldest son, Jesus, left her and the home to fulfill His mission in ministry. And she watched her son die. It was His destiny.
We do not know how much Mary knew and understood about who and what her son, Jesus, was. But we do know that Mary was faithfully there from His birth until His death. She shows us how to stand with our children as they continue to grow and fulfill Godâ€™s plan in their life. She shows us how to pray for them, believing that no matter how dark the hour, God will bring them through to victory when they submit to His will.
The day my children were born I did not know all that would come but I praise God that He did.
Be blessed by this wonderful song, Mary, did you know?Â written by Buddy Greene (1984) sung by Donny Osmond.