Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mary the Mother

At the end of the Nativity account found in Luke 2 we are told that “Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). Some authors have taken this to mean that Mary didn’t understand what was going on. But I don’t believe that. To think Mary was naïve is to completely disregard the beautiful Psalm that Mary utters when she visits Elizabeth.
“My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.  For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever” (Luke 1:46-55).

Even if you believe that these aren’t Mary’s own words and that someone later attributed them to her, you know that after what she had seen and experienced these kinds of thoughts couldn’t help but be part of her thinking. She had seen and experienced things that no mortal before her or after her has ever experienced. There is no way she could be naïve. The prophecies were talked about constantly and even if, as a woman, she was not part of the synagogue discussions, she could not help but overhear the men talking of the Messiah that would be born to a virgin. She would know what His mission was to be and how He would be sacrificed for the sins of the world. Mary knew all these things.

I can only imagine what it would mean to cradle my newborn son in my arms and know the horrific fate that awaited him. Every time she saw a sacrificial offering at the temple, or heard of one, her heart must surely have broken. Of all people, Mary knew who this baby was. That she kept all that happened and pondered it in her heart was not a sign of ignorance, but an indication of the burden she lived with. Her Son would die for her and for all of us.

Picture by Amy Pectol :


G n C Larsen said...

I am in awe of the example of Mary, the Mother of Jesus!

Wendi said...

She certainly did carry a heavy burden. I am so thankful for her and for the Savior! :)

dani said...

I didn't realize that Mary knew early on that her son would have the horrific fate that he did. I knew that she knew that her son was the son of God, but I think that it was perhaps with her like it is for many of the 'great ones', that they did not know all of the future at once, but got it line upon line. I would think her pondering upon her son would have been more of the present and the nearer future.

Anonymous said...

Maybe that is why her story always makes us cry. I just can't imagine loving a child so much, and then knowing what He would have to suffer to fulfill his work on earth. She deserves all our respect, admiration and love.