"she brought forth her firstborn Son"
Are you familiar with the Christmas song, "Mary, Did You Know?" ? It's such a beautiful piece, that I first heard when my babies were little. I think it struck a chord with me, as a young mother, thinking many of the same thoughts Mary must have thought as she held her new baby.
Mary, did you know that your baby boy would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you've delivered will soon deliver you.
Mary, did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with His hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you've kissed your little baby, you've kissed the face of God.
The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the dead will live again.
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak the praises of the Lamb.
Mary, did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven's perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you're holding is the great I Am.
We sang that song in church today, and I got to thinking about what Mary might have been imagining as she looked into her Son's future.
She knew who He was. God's Son, called Jesus. He would be great, and would be called Son of the Highest, and He would be given the throne of David. He would reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom would have no end. (Luke 1:31-33)
And let's assume she was doing this imagining after the shepherds came to visit. Luke says that after their visit, Mary "kept all these things and pondered them in her heart." So let's assume that during that pondering, she was giving some thought to what His future would look like.
I think it's very likely she imagined some of what the song mentions: healing the sick and the lame, enabling the blind to see and the deaf to hear. I think she imagined miracles.
I think she might also have imagined some of the pain in His future. She herself had experienced societal disapproval for the work of God in her life. She might have seen it coming for Him.
But still I believe she could not possibly know much of what would be her Son's future. And the reason I say that, is because there is no way I could have predicted the people my kids are becoming. I mean, some of it is fairly predictable, but there are so many surprises. A great sense of humor... amazing artistic ability... unpredictable compassion... unexpected patience... the ability to play the piano, untaught.
The ability to remember details of things that happened years before. A gentle heart that forgives the pain others have caused. A love of learning. Unbelievable, unstoppable, unyielding perseverance in the face of fears and difficulties.
I could have predicted my kids' hair and eye color, and maybe even some of their characteristics, based on those of my husband and myself, and our families. But children are too wonderfully complex and individual to predict how amazing and fascinating they will become.
I love thinking of all Mary might have imagined as she lay with her new baby on those first few nights. But even more than that, I love the thought of how much she must have enjoyed watching Him grow.
~ "And the Child grew and became strong in spirit,
filled with wisdom;
and the grace of God was upon Him." ~