Recently there was a very difficult situation that involved one of my kids. It was hurtful and painful for the child involved and excruciating for me as a parent. I had to sit back and watch my baby (not much of a baby anymore) be hurt. It took all my restraint and spiritual maturity to respond with grace. When I get stressed or upset, I get a migraine. I could feel the headache right away. Three days later, I was still fighting the headache and the heartache. My initial reaction was to get involved and change the circumstances so that there wasn’t a chance for any additional hurt. Knowing that wasn’t best, I had to sit back and watch things play out. Parenting isn’t for wimps!
During Christmas I love to read about the birth of Christ. I am humbled by the sacrifice made by God and Jesus to provide a way for us to have a way to Heaven. I also love to read about Mary and Joseph. I feel empathy every time I read the story. I can only imagine how difficult the situation was on both of them. It was a horrible stain on Mary’s character and reflected so badly on Joseph that he could have had Mary stoned. I hurt for Mary as she had to keep all the things she knew in her heart. I love that she was able to find comfort with Elisabeth, her cousin.
We jump to Mary having to take a trip just when she was ready to have the baby. I can remember thinking that even a soft bed was uncomfortable right before I was ready to have the boys. Can you imagine riding on a donkey? I would love to have heard the conversation on that trip! Mary gave birth for the first time in a stable with animals and had to put her son in a manger rather than a clean baby bed. As the shepherds came to see the baby, we all wonder if Mary really understood and knew that she had just given birth to her Savior. I love the song written by Mark Lowry named “Mary, Did You know?” It was just performed by Jordan Smith on the Voice. Pentatonix has a great version as well. David Phelps is still my favorite version. Listen to the recording below. The song asks if Mary knew all that was to come for her baby boy. What an amazing thought. Oh Mary, I hope you didn’t know!
Years later, after Jesus has been beaten, humiliated and hung on a cross we find Mary right there in agony watching it all play out. What a horrible position for a mother. In John 19:25 it says, “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother.” Can you even imagine? To stand by as the leadership of the day wrongly accuse your son and watch him beaten and then make the walk to Calvary with the cross on his back must have been terrible. The sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross was witnessed up close and personal by the one who loved him the most on earth. Boy, that makes my experience pale in comparison!
Christmas is tomorrow. A day of celebration but also of grief. A day that started a chain of events that allowed the reconciliation of man to God at a horrible cost. A wonderful day that showed the immense love God has toward us. How sad it would be for such a wonderful gift to be given at such a great cost only to be rejected. Oh Mary, I hope you didn’t know how much Jesus was going to have to suffer so that we would be able to enter Heaven. Friend, please take time to accept the gift God gave us on Christmas. It will change your life. If you have already accepted the gift, celebrate Christmas and the joy of Jesus’ birth with the shadow of Calvary across your home this year. Keep the focus off of material things and remember what a sacrifice the gift of baby Jesus was for all involved. Remember that we are called to live a life that compels others to want what we have. Merry Christmas to you and yours. I pray you cherish the day together and if you are alone, allow God to comfort you. Oh Mary, I don’t know if you knew, but I am thankful for your Son’s sacrifice for me!