Sunday, December 23, 2018

Mary Did You Know?

Every once in a while a new song joins the ranks of traditional Christmas carols and quickly becomes a new favorite. "Mary Did You Know", written in 1991, took a few years to really catch on.

Mary, not Jesus

The song focuses on Mary, the unwed mother of Jesus, rather than on Jesus himself. The song is set in a minor key which sets it apart from most carols. Rather than being bright and upbeat, it is more of a somber tone.

Steps of Faith

Most of the criticism of the song centers on the question asked, which is, did Mary KNOW the child she would carry would someday be at the center of one of the world's great religions.

Some would argue that of COURSE she knew that her son would one day walk on water, heal the blind, the lame to walk and so forth.

In my opinion, Mary did know some of the story, but not all. According to Luke 1: 26 - 38 the angel Gabriel TOLD Mary she would give birth to a son, would name him Jesus, and he would reign over the House of Jacob forever.

But it has been my observation that other great things in the Bible were surrounded in mystery.

Abraham was prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac because God told him to do so. He had no idea an angel would appear and show in a ram that would be sacrificed in place of Isaac.

Moses had no idea how long he would wander in the wilderness.

Facing the Unknown Without Fear

So I doubt that Mary knew all the details of where her son would go or what he would do to change the world.

Religion is based on FAITH, not complete knowledge and revelation of all the details. Believers follow the message God plants in their heart and they move forward on faith, not absolute certainty.

To me, one of the most moving lines in the song is this. "When you kiss your little baby, you kiss the face of God".

According to the scripture, Mary was frightened by the angel, and did not understand what was happening. How could she be pregnant since she was a virgin?

No Coincidence

But we are also told her response was that she was the Lord's servant and she would move forward on faith.

The REAL Christmas story is a story of faith. Starting with the immaculate conception and continuing on through various twists and turns. Mary and Joseph lived in Nazareth, and Jesus would be born there if not for the census ordered by Caesar Augustus, requiring all citizens to return to their tribal town vs. where they lived. By traveling to Bethlehem they fulfilled the prophecy told in Micah 5:2.

As a friend of mine says, there are no coincidences, only God-incidences. The birth of Jesus was predicted 700 years earlier by a minor prophet named Micah. That is no coincidence.

Have a blessed Christmas!
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