“Mary, Did You Know?” picks up many of the thoughts of this week. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifCWN5pJGIE. I was surprised to learn that the lyrics were written in 1984 by Mark Lowry and the tune in 1991 by Buddy Greene. It is already considered a Christmas classic! The lyric writer asks Mary, mother of Jesus, if she truly understood how the prophetic message of the angel at Christmas time, would unfold in Mary’s lifetime. We experience prophecy but do we know exactly how it will be lived out in reality? We hope and often those hopes reflect our dreams of “the good life.”
This week we looked at different ways that the gospel writers open their letters to tell people about the life of Christ.
Matthew started with the genealogy of Jesus. Hope. The doctor says we are pregnant, and I use the pronoun “we” because it involves two people. We hope and dream about that life that is forming. My son has written a book on the dashed hopes when the miscarriage came and the hoped for life was very short lived. (Letters to My Unborn Children: Meditations on the Silent Grief of Miscarriage) In the face of that grief, though, they eventually had three very cherished daughters. Mother Mary knew she would have a son that would come from the line of Abraham, the promised Messiah, but she nor anyone truly understood how his life would be lived out. They hoped. Mary, did you know your son would…?
Mark, the second gospel, starts with a Scripture quote about the “sign”, the forerunner, that would announce the coming of Christ. It is so easy to get lost in looking at signs and wondering if “now” is the time for a prophecy to be fulfilled, that we loose sight of the prophecy giver. We all listened to the news broadcasters predict who would win the presidential election and half of the country was disappointed and half struggles with the slowness of the fulfilling, the transition. Prophecy often is a timely process. The Lord is my Shepherd but my eyes are looking for green grass. Mary, did you know that your son would die for our sons and daughters?
Luke, the third gospel, starts with spiritual experiences that give us hope. Zechariah and Mary are visited by angels. WOW. But they still had to live the journey. Hope does not destroy reality but allows us to live in reality trusting the God who walks with us and gives us promises. Mary did you know that your son would walk on water?
John, the fourth gospel, claims the final line, “Mary did you know that your baby boy was heaven’s perfect Lamb? This sleeping child you’re holding is the great ‘I Am’?” In the beginning was the word and the Word was God.
Do we know? Ultimately our hope rests in the integrity of the prophecy giver, the God who gives birth to the genealogy, the God who inspired Scripture, the God who comes to us today in spiritual experience, who is the God of eternity. We don’t know exactly how events in our life will play out but we do trust the One who holds our lives and at this time of the year we focus on the hope that gives us to face the uncertainties of tomorrow. He is the great “I Am!” Blessings. Next week is peace.