“Mary, did you know that your baby boy would one day walk on water?”
I’m not a mother. I may never know what it feels like for a devoted mom to love so faithfully, joyfully and unconditionally. It is hard to imagine what young Mary faced, in her time and place, knowing she’d bear the child who would change the world. There was so much to fear: To realize her beloved child would be in danger his entire life must have been agonizing. Wondrously, in the midst of all potential worry, Mary chose hope and joy instead.
We don’t know when Mary gave birth to Jesus, but it seems somehow fitting to celebrate it in December. The dawn of a new year bears hope for the good. But it can also bring anxiety for the unknown, especially if we fear that someone or something we love could be in danger. Mary’s embrace of Jesus’ birth reminds us that hope and love are not just sweet ideas; they are radical. Fierce. World-changing. Everlasting.
Nothing stopped Mary from stepping forward, full tilt boogie, with joyful hope and devoted mother-love. My Advent prayer is to have that kind of faith. A Mary faith. A Mary Christmas. That could make this a Merry Christmas, indeed.
By Patrice Donnell
P.S. The song “Mary, Did You Know” by Mark Lowry, has been covered by hundreds of artists. Two beautiful, very different versions are linked below:
A cappella version by Pentatonix;
Marble Church’s own Karl Dion Dixon (the song starts 1 minute in):