Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday Afternoon Tea

Every Christmas since 1977, I have pondered Mary during the season of Advent. That year was my first Christmas holding a newborn child by the light of the Christmas tree. I could not help but think of the Story in Luke with a new light... just recently knowing that feeling of being heavy with child and then holding new life.

What was it like... what things did Mary ponder in her heart? I've heard it said that Mary... and only Mary... would never doubt the virgin birth. She knew because she was there. Even Joseph had doubts at first. Did she live in the shadow of whispers all her life, that gossip which is prevalent in small towns and villages?

I have often wondered what it was about Mary that in all the hundreds upon hundreds of years and thousands upon thousands of young women throughout Time... she was chosen. She would guide and instruct and love the God-boy, along with Joseph. He would train in the practical and Scriptures... she would love as only a mother can He who is Love.

Was he like other little boys? Did she hold him close after scraping his knees and clap when he memorized Scripture? Was she amazed as he grew in stature and in wisdom? Did she ever become perplexed by the knowledge her boy was the Son of God? I cannot imagine...

I know Jesus loves the whole wide world but there has to be a special place in His heart for His Mother... even Presbyterians must understand that... and Baptists. I know my relationship with my boy and my brothers affection for our mother. Moms and their boys... whether completely mortal or partly God... boys hold a special place in their heart for their Mom.

We, who are on the other side of the Reformation, lose much by not honoring the Mother of Christ, at least as one would show respect to any person of great character and influence.  What was it like for her at His birth... at His crucifixion? 

I heard a radio host say something profound about the baby Jesus this week.  He was talking about the line in Mark Lowry's beautiful song, Mary Did You Know?  In it, the question is asked... "Mary, did you know... when you kissed your little baby, you kissed the face of God".  She kissed the face... when in all human history before that day in Bethlehem... man could not look into the face of God and live.

I worship Jesus... I am in awe of the teenage virgin mother and her brave husband... willing to become the epicenter of the greatest moment on earth... when the Word was made flesh.


Anonymous said...

This was beautiful, thank you for sharing with us.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for such a beautiful post. As a Catholic I know many misunderstand our reverence for Mary. We do not "worship" her, but rather we ask her to intercede for us and lead us to Jesus and the Holy Father.
I had it explained to me once by a Deacon. As we are little children (and as little children) are sometimes afraid to ask their father for something will go to their mother first to ask father.
It made sense to me when he said it ~ I am not the best with words.

I wish you many blessings this Christmas and for a wonderful New Year.

ninar said...


Beautiful!!...just beautiful.


Barb said...

What a beautiful post - and a beautiful thought to ponder on this lovely December day! Thank you for your insight, you always make my day. Merry Christmas, Barb

Connie said...

Thank you for a beautiful post - lots of food for thought!

my cup of tea said...

Thank you for the reminder of what Christmas is all about.

gail said...

Thankyou Brenda, that was beautiful.

Blessings Gail

scrappy quilter said...

Mary did you Know has got to be my all time favorite Christmas song. It is incredible to think she kissed the face of God.


Quinne said...

Hi Brenda :) What a lovely post! Love you! Q

Suze said...

You are so right - we don't need to worship Mary, but to not venerate or honor her at all? That is silly - we venerate George Washington and he didn't give birth as a young teenage girl to the savior of the world in human form. Love your post!

Marge said...

I, too, have pondered that line from that most beautiful song. Can you imagine being a young woman and being told you were going to give birth to the Son of
God? What an unbelievable honor... and hence Mary's beautiful words, the Magnificat.

Christmas blessings to you my friend!


freetobeme - Anita said...

Beautiful post.

Cheryl said...

Yes, Mary is to be admired, but as a "handmaiden of the Lord", as a fellow servant who was assigned a great work (and what a great work it was!)...but not as an intercessor. "For there is one God, and ONE mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." (I Tim. 5:2)

Linda Hibner said...

It is my joy each day to read your posts. Your sometimes simple yet profound thoughts stir my heart. You set a high standard for those of us who keep blogs as a way of expressing our own spirituality. While I end all my posts with a spiritual thought and a Bible verse, I have a ways to go to reach the depth your daily "musings" reach. Thank you for your honest approach. You are a blessing!

Anonymous said...

The movie The Nativity Story made in 2006 was on tv the other day. It showed the responses of the neighbors and the town and even Joseph and you could see it could have been like that. Naturally some people always wondered. She was probably an outcase to some. Her story was so unimagined.. without faith who could not wonder I suppose. As you said, only she knew it all. How was Mary even
raised to be the person she was? Did their parents even see them much after Jesus's birth? There were many lives changed before they even really knew who Jesus really was. Our god illustrated it all. How does a mother treat a child unlike her others? Mary and Joseph had to form a tight circle as they were the only people ever to be like they were, and to know what really happened. The strain that must have put on a marriage! How do the other brothers and sisters react? Were they told? Was he taunted to do something to prove who his Father really was? How do you instruct a child in the ways of God who is God? I couldn't begin to imagine all the things going through Mary and Jospph's head. Even Joseph must have wondered how to treat Mary. She was not an ordinary wife at all. I am glad that the Bible says God tore the veil off and we can now go straight to Jesus in our prayers not through a priest like we used to have to. Mary is a terribly inportant person and needs to be honored as such forever. Jody

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Oh Brenda, thank you for the kind words. I'm still in bed, surrounded by books, tissues, and a strong cup of tea.

I send you all my warmest wishes for a blessed holiday,

Sharon Lovejoy

Anonymous said...

Deep thoughts to ponder. I appreciated Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ" and the portrayal of Mary. Yet another point of reference. Interesting.