Right this moment, where is your attention? Are you focused on checking off a gift list or preparing a holiday menu? Maybe you’re just pushing through to the end of exams or the work day. Wherever your gaze is, I’d like to hold your attention for a few moments on Jesus’ mother, Mary.
Because I’m afraid if you look past Mary, you will miss a beautiful gift this Christmas.
Let’s go straight to the stable the night Jesus was born. God is taking on human form and the first person He sees is Mary – his little eyes blinking open, adjusting to the light, taking in the darkness of her hair, the way her eyebrows frame her face. Jesus, God in human form, breathes in his first smells and it’s the scent of his momma that fills him. It’s her voice that will be the first sound our Savior hears as she says his name over and over – Jesus, Jesus. It’s her neck he’ll snuggle and her hold he’ll crave. When Emmanuel God with us, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty Warrior gets hungry; he’ll reach for her.
She is blessed among women. But to be “blessed” includes Mary watching her Son be hated, hunted down and hung on a cross. Mary shows us to be blessed is a BOTH/AND situation. A blessing can feel wonderful and heavy. It can look painful and be full of joy. She shows us how to embrace it all – carrying scripture in her thoughts and treasuring it all in her heart, giving glory to God as she takes it one day at a time.
“Blessed art thou among women.” Mary was and is greatly esteemed for her very important “Yes.” Her legacy teaches us how about the power of partnering with God. Her legacy shows us a position of gratitude shifts the ground we walk on.
Mary quietly shows us that holding scripture in our hearts intimately weaves the stories we’re living out with those who have gone before us and the God who is with us.
These words are known as “Mary’s Song” she said this to her cousin Elizabeth:
My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me – holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.”Luke 1:46-56
Mary’s song is powerful and eloquent and sweet. The backstory here is that Mary was using some of Hannah’s song from the Old Testament in her very own song. Listen to a piece of Hannah’s:
My heart rejoices in the Lord;
in the Lord my horn is lifted high.
My mouth boasts over my enemies,
for I delight in your deliverance.
2 “There is no one holy like the Lord;1 Samuel 2:1-2
there is no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.
You’ve heard Mary’s song. You’ve heard Hannah’s song. But I wonder what Beth’s song sounds like? Meredith what are your lyrics? Melanie, Isabella, Keyne, Annette, Katherine, Madeline, Kathy, Taylor, Allie, Patty, Kate, Angela, Elsa, Erin, Lauren, Lucy, Rachel, Brittany, Angie, Nicka, Kristin, Becky, Lily, Avery, Diane, Amy, Janis, Mallory, Anoush, Renee, Colleen, Kellie, Josie, Mia, Robyn, Christa, Leah, Anna, Hadley, Ann Stuart, Paige, Riley, Leanna, Arezu, Juliet, Jasmin, Emili, Zareen, Barb, Audrey, Susan, Carrie, Jenna, Dana, Kim, Leslie, Tristen, Jessie, Laura, Grace, Kay, Jill, Peggy, Carin, Anita, Marissa, Courtney, Dawn, Criste, Jodi, Silvia, Shawn, Lori, Stacey, McKenzie-
SING YOUR SONG!
Shout for joy, daughter Zion! Sing joyfully, Israel!
Be glad and exult with all your heart, daughter Jerusalem!
The LORD has removed the judgment against you,
he has turned away your enemies.
The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst,
you have no further misfortune to fear.
On that day, it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Do not fear, Zion, do not be discouraged.
The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior,
who will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love,
who will sing joyfully because of you.Zephaniah 3:14-17
Because of you, God is singing.
Why are you singing this Christmas? Are you singing at all? Are you aware of what God has done for you? Can you feel Jesus making a new way in your life somewhere? Borrow some of the these phrases if you need to but take a little time to hear and understand Mary’s song. Then, discover your treasures, recognize your burdens, feel the weight of your blessedness and SING.