Tell a Better Story… Mary, Did You Know?

Posted: December 18, 2015 in Speaking ministry, Storytelling
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I’m preparing my message for the weekend, I am basing it on the classic Christmas Song, Mary Did You Know? This song sets forth so many wonderful questions. It sort of forces us to look at the story with fresh eyes, rather than just assuming we know this part of the greatest story ever told.

It forces us to look at the world through a young Israeli girl who is called upon to become the mother of God. The interchange between Mary and Gabriel could be easily overlooked because we know what she did and how the story ends. God asks and Mary says yes. Consider this. Mary is betrothed to Joseph. Betrothal is sort of like a legally binding engagement and there are severe penalties for breaking it. For Mary to say yes to God’s plan, required tremendous faith. She had to trust that God could do what He said, and while with God all things are possible, this never happened before and has never happened again. She had to trust in God’s protection, she had to trust that God would get through to Joseph. She had to trust God completely. Mary, did you know? It sure seems like she did.

A few verses later we have Mary traveling to visit Elizabeth. The baby in her cousin Elizabeth’s womb, John the Baptist is the first to recognize the presence of the unborn Jesus. Elizabeth confirms that Mary is Mother of the Messiah and Mary begins to praise God for all He has already done for her. All generations will call me blessed. Mary Did You Know? It sure seems like she did here too.

Later, she and Joseph take Jesus to the temple to be dedicated to the Lord. There Simeon proclaims that he is ready to die because he has seen the Lord’s anointed. He prophesies over the Child Jesus, and over Mary that a sword will pierce her heart. That there will be great pain for the Mother of Messiah. Mary did you know? Well one more person told her.

Then there are the other times. Times when they search for young Jesus and find him in the temple. He’s surprised they didn’t know He’d be in His Father’s house, or the time when Mary and Jesus’ brothers are convinced He’s lost His mind because He is doing the things He came to do. They come to take charge of Him, but Jesus rebuffs their attempts and tells the crowd that His Mother and His brothers are those that do the will of God. Mary did you know? Seems she may have forgotten.

I say that last part facetiously. It’s in these weaker moments when Mary reveals she’s just like us. It’s easy to believe in the easy times and hard to believe in the hard times. Mary knew, but in the hard times is seems she grasped at straws to fix her circumstances and protect her child.

Mary was with Jesus in the manger and she was with Him at the cross. Simeon’s prophecy was fulfilled before her eyes. A metaphorical sword pierced her heart as she saw her son suffer and die. It’s crushing, until we remember that she also saw Him risen. She did in fact deliver her own deliverer. Here’s what we need to see. It was Mary’s faith and obedience that brought our Savior into the world. She was willing to take tremendous risks because she had tremendous faith. The last time we see Mary in Scripture, she is a member of the new church, following her risen Son in faith, quite possibly telling her story to a young doctor named Luke, the story we all know as the most complete account of the Christmas story.

Mary, did you know?

Yes, she did.

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