Sunday, December 9, 2012

Mary Did You Know?

It's Christmas time, full fledged, and I am thinking of that little baby swaddled in the manger as I stare at my Christmas tree.  I've got about half of my shopping done, but nothing wrapped, so there's nothing under the tree right now but a Santa bear and a snowman.  I know I've got plenty of time... after all, my last day of work is December 19th, almost a week before Christmas. 

As I've gotten older, my favorite thing to really think about though, above the presents and the lights and the get-togethers and the time off, is about that little baby.  Immanuel... God with Us.  A child was born, unto us, within us, to us... and He was so much.  I wonder how much He weighed at birth and how long He was.  Did he have much hair?  I remember looking at Caleb's ten perfect fingers and toes, and those big eyes staring up at me, mouth opened into a yawn... did Mary think thoughts like that as she stared at God in her arms?  Mary, Did You Know is one of my favorite songs because of this... she knew she had been chosen by God. She knew He was God's Son... but did she know what that meant?

This morning, I read in my Chronological Bible the story of Jesus's crucifixion.  Mary looked on as this precious boy she had held in her arms, she had pondered about in her mind, hung on a cross for her sins.  For my sins.  For your sins.  I'm sure a million things flashed through her mind... her frantically scanning the crowd as she looked for Him when He was lost, only to find Him in His Father's house.  Probably His first steps.  His first words... words from the Word of God himself.  As she stood there, seeing our shame on His face, did her mind wander back to that first night in a manger, when she, as a young teenager, encountered God in the most physically intimate way possible?  Did she know... even then, even after it had all played out, what it all truly meant, not just for her, but for me, a mother sitting on  my couch and reading Advent devotions, reading Jesus's earthly geneology through messed up people like Rahab and loyal people like Ruth and pure people like Mary...

And did she know what victory would be seen three days later? Did she really believe it... she must have, or otherwise all of the angst and worry of those early years would have been for naught.  Oh, to read the words, "Why seek ye the living among the dead?  He is risen..." Risen, He who made Himself lowly to be born into flesh in a filthy manger, who traveled dusty roads and had little here on earth, who served others and put them before Himself... is risen, and is now sitting at the right hand of the Father, a soon returning King.  Oh, Mary, I'd love to have known what you knew... because I can't hardly imagine.  And the Christmas story cannot stand alone; it must be told with the bookend of He is risen.  That is the greatest Christmas gift of all

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