Monday, December 23, 2013

What Was It Like to Be Mary?

I'll hold you in the beginning
You will hold me in the end
Every moment in the middle
Make my heart Your Bethlehem
From "Be Born in Me" by Francesca Battistelli

Have you ever wondered what it was like to be Mary, the mother of Jesus? I have. Maybe it's because she is my namesake. Maybe it's because I have a son, and I know I could never stand by and watch him sacrifice himself for all mankind. My mother love is too selfish. 

First of all, I cannot even imagine what it must have been like to be visited by an angel! Then to be told by said angel that you are going to have a baby, when you know darned well how babies are made and you know you've never done that. When we read the account of this in Luke 1, it doesn't appear that Mary had a choice, yet she seemed to make a choice. I am the Lord's servant. May your word to me be fulfilled (Luke 1:38). Maybe it wasn't a choice, per se, but more of a reckoning, an acceptance.

But now she had the difficult task of convincing her betrothed that they were going to have a baby who wasn't his, but wasn't any other man's either. Say what? I can just see her, looking up toward heaven, saying, "I could use a little help down here..." Enter the angel again. 

After a tumultuous sleep with dreams akin to those after eating Chinese food late at night, Joseph was on board. Now that Joseph was convinced, the rest of the town needed to be. I'm guessing the angel didn't visit each one of them. I imagine Mary was snubbed at the well, ignored in the market and whispered about in the tents at night. Still, she rejoiced. And I imagine that anyone who knew her character believed her.

Did Mary know that the son she would bear would someday bear the sins of the world? Did she know that the life she brought into this world would sacrifice that life to take the fear of death out of the world? How would it feel to be the mother of the Savior of the WorldDid she ever look at Him while He was growing up and get a vision of what was to come? Did she feel a mixture of pride and sadness when she watched him or heard of his miracles? 

Mary said From now on, all generations will call me blessed (Luke 1:48). You could easily misinterpret that to think it sounds prideful or boastful, but I believe Mary meant that as a complete statement of humility, for it continues: For the mighty one has done great things for me. Holy is His name! (Luke 1:49). Imagine...out of all women throughout all eternity, she was THE one chosen to carry God's son! Wow! There can be no greater honor, and only a woman of great humility could handle that. God didn't have a heavenly lottery ball machine up there, choosing someone at random.

I have two beautiful songs to share with you today. One I've loved for years, but it is little known. It's called, Thorns in the Straw, by Graham Kendrick, from a musical called Rumours of Angels (yes, he is British). The other is one I just discovered, called Be Born In Me by Francesca Battistelli. Please take a few moments to listen when you have time. 

Thorns in the Straw (Graham Kendrick)
Be Born In Me (Mary)---Francesca Battistelli

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