Monday, December 20, 2010

Mary, Did You Know?

Mary the Mother of the Savior

Her name was Mary and she was chosen by God to bear His only begotten Son. She was humble, faithful, courageous and a true disciple of Christ.  But most of all she was real. She did breath, hurt, hope and love like all of us. I envision Mary holding her newborn son for the very first time, crying with elation, gratitude and relief all at once. Did her heart rejoice knowing who her son was and what He was to become? Did she comprehend His mission and the sacrifice that He alone would perform?  Did she understand how wonderful she was and how much she would be revered and loved? Certainly, she was one of the noblest and greatest of all the spirit children of our Father in Heaven.

The Christmas story from the gospel of Luke. 

As the mother of Jesus Christ, Mary stands apart from all women in history.  Not only was she chosen to be the mother of the Messiah but she was to raise the only perfect man to walk on earth.  Mary was a young poor girl from Nazareth betrothed to an ordinary carpenter. These facts made her unsuitable in the eyes of her people. How could such a common girl be the chosen one? Yet, the angle Gabriel visited her and told her that she was “Highly Favored by God”. Even with God's favor, Mary would still suffer much. Though she would one day be highly honored as the mother of the Savior, she would first know disgrace as an unwed mother. She would nearly lose her fiancĂ©. Her beloved son would be rejected and cruelly murdered. Mary's submission to God's plan would cost her dearly, yet she was willing to be God's servant.

God knew that Mary was a woman of rare strength and obedience. She was the only human being to be with Jesus throughout his entire life, from his birth until his death. She gave life to him as her child and watched him die as her Savior. Mary also knew the Scriptures. When the angel appeared and told her that her child would be God's Son, Mary replied, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to thy word." (Luke 1:38). She knew of the Old Testament prophesies about the coming Messiah.

God looked upon the quality of her trust and obedience. He knew she would willingly serve God in one of the most important callings ever given to a human being. Just like Mary, God looks at our obedience and trust, usually not the qualifications that man might look upon. God will often choose and use the most unlikely of choices.

Some mistakenly cast Mary as the “Mother of God”. She was indeed the mother of Jesus, the Son of God. However, God the Son existed from eternity. Mary was the source of Jesus’ human nature. Even so it is appropriate that we honor Mary and the faith that she displayed throughout her life.

This Christmas, as I celebrate the birth of Christ, I celebrate Mary too.  I am so grateful for this wonderful woman and her ability to fulfill her role as the mother of our Savior.  My heart is full of love for her and I marvel and thank her for her example and gift to the world.

Merry Christmas Everyone.  May the true meaning of Christmas fill your heart and home. God Bless, Patty