“You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” ~ Luke 1:31-33
One of the most popular Christmas songs in recent memory is “Mary, Did You Know?” The song asks the simple, beautiful question: when Mary held baby Jesus, did she realize the significance of it all? Many people would answer that song with a simple “Yes.” There is even a t-shirt you can buy that says “Mary Knew” followed by the scripture referenced above.
But the message of the song still resonates. Yes, as Mary held Jesus, she knew that he would grow up to be a great leader in the line of David. But did she know all that it would involve? That he would preach the Good News about the kingdom of God, and that we would respond by arresting him, torturing him, and crucifying him?
Whether or not Mary knew all the details, she knew that she wasn’t holding an ordinary child. He would never grow up to live a simple, quiet life. And the road he would walk would surely include a lot of pain.
Mary’s love for Jesus was wrapped up with her love for God, just like the cloths she used to swaddle her baby. It was a love that worshiped Jesus the Messiah with open arms, and kept a loose grip on him as her baby boy. This was the same kind of love that her cousin Elizabeth had for John. The same kind of love her ancestor Abraham had for Isaac on the mountain all those years ago.
This Christmas, ask God to give you that kind of love. The kind of love that holds everything closest to you with that same open-armed worship of Jesus the Messiah and a loose grip on things. Things will not work out the way we want them to. Things will pass away. That kind of love focuses not the temporary but on the eternal.
Every thing, every dream, every relationship. It’s all God’s. And just like Mary knew, we know can trust him with it.