The first time I heard the Christmas song, Mary, Did You Know, my son was six months old. As the song played in the background, I sat in my bentwood rocker, feeding and cuddling my baby boy. As I gazed on his face, I wondered who this tiny human would be when he grew up. Would his life be happy or difficult? What talents had God given him? How would he use them?
I wanted to shield my son from whatever was hard to bear until he was strong enough and wise enough to carry the load. Mary must have felt the same about her baby boy two thousand years ago.
As she held her baby, as she let her toddler grip her fingers when he took his beginning steps, as she watched Joseph train him to use the tools of the family trade―how often did she pause in the joy of the ordinary and contemplate what she’d heard when she and Joseph took Jesus to the temple to present him to the Lord?
Simeon had been told by the Holy Spirit that he wouldn’t die before he saw the Messiah. When he saw Jesus, he took him in his arms and declared that he had seen the Lord’s salvation. Messiah had come, and he was to be the light to the Gentiles as well as the glory of Israel.
Then Simeon spoke to Mary, “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of may hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul, too.” (Luke 2:34-35 (NIV))
The baby in the manger was the delight of Mary’s heart after she delivered him.
The man on the cross would be the eternal joy of her life after he delivered her.
Merry Christmas! May you have a blessed celebration of our Savior’s birth!