Mary, Did You Know?

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“Mary, Did You Know” by Kenny Rogers and Wynona Judd

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 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 the storm with His hand?

Did you know that your Baby Boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little Baby, you’ve kissed the face of God?

Mary did you know?

Mary did you know?

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.

Oh, 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?
The sleeping Child you’re holding is the Great, I Am.

Mary did you know?

I can only imagine the feelings this teenage girl felt when she found out she was with child–and that this child would be the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the God of all creation. Can you imagine it?

I don’t know if anyone could comprehend what was about to happen. There were prophets who foretold of the Savior’s coming and his time on earth in His human form, but what really went through Mary’s mind?

As a mother, myself, I anticipated the births of our children.  I read the books, I listened to the stories, I went to the pre-birth classes, but in all honesty, it really didn’t prepare me for what I truly felt and experienced when each of our sons was placed into my arms and I saw them for the first time.

No words can describe the unconditional love you feel                                                             when you meet your baby face-to-face.

It is truly a miraculous experience.

Yet, I wasn’t carrying and delivering the Savior of the world.  I was carrying my child…that my husband and I would raise together. (Okay, to be politically correct, our children do belong to God…I really have learned that lesson…) We are responsible to teach them the ways of the worlds vs. the ways of the bible and compare-hoping when they are old enough, they would choose to follow Jesus.  Not to take anything away from our children’s births, but Mary’s birth was quite different.

Her son came to teach HER the ways of God.

Instead of us teaching our children, He came to deliver HER from sin and death.

It’s almost incomprehensible to me…

Mary was chosen out of every single woman on earth, to carry the Messiah.  What a privilege…what an honor!  I was chosen to carry my babies…and what an honor that was.  But you and I both know that isn’t even a comparison.

Each Christmas season, it seems a new song becomes my favorite.  This year it’s “Mary, Did You Know” and as you see, I wrote the lyrics out and added the song to this post.  Ironically, Isaiah’s high school choir sang it for this year’s Christmas Choir Concert.  I bawled the whole time…(and not just the “simple tear down the cheek” cry…the all out sobbing!  Good thing it was pretty dark in there.)

I sat wondering…did she know what was in store for Jesus?  The miracles He would perform?  The way the lame would speak praises to Him after being healed…the way the blind would see again just by Jesus touching a man’s eyes. Imagine being deaf and in a split second, you can hear…all because of this man a named Jesus.  Did Mary have that mother’s intuition?  Did she know this would all happen?

When the lyrics ask if Mary knew that when she kissed her little baby, she was kissing the face of God, I cried even harder.  I thought of my baby…being kissed by God now.  I thought of my mom whose face has very recently been cradled in Jesus’ hands and how He has looked right into her eyes and smiled.  I thought of the others who have passed and how they are truly seeing the face of God.

But did Mary know all of this?  Did she have doubts?  Did she wonder if it would really all happen like it was foretold, with the child she gave birth too?

All the questions that rise up because of the birth of one little boy.  I could go on and on.  How come He had to be born in a manger?  A trough?  Well, maybe it was a way to show how humble we all should be.  A hospital bed, a barn, an ambulance…does it matter?  Once the baby is born, it really doesn’t matter if it was a gold-plated nursery bed or a manger filled with straw.

The animals that surrounded Him…that gave Him comfort and warmth.  Think of the people who surround us and can’t give us nearly as much comfort and warmth that a simple animal could give Jesus. God gave them just what they needed.

This season of celebrating Christ’s birth can get so out of hand with “worldly” things and tasks.  That’s why I love the lyrics to this song and love the way it reminds us why we are celebrating.  It’s the miracle of a new-born babe so many years ago.

A simple birth of a mighty King.  One Who wants to rock our worlds…change our lives…bring us to freedom.  Will you let Him in this Christmas?  Do you have room in your busy schedule of shopping, wrapping, hosting or going to parties, making the perfect meal–whatever it is you’re working on–to just allow time to sit and celebrate this miracle birth? To really think about what happens those years ago?

Invite Him into your celebration.  Read the story of His birth.  Pray together…and I mean, really pray together. Make room for Him this Christmas.  Make room for him in your heart.  He’s standing at the door, waiting to be a part of your life.  Will you let Him in?

 

Mistake after Mistake

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Boy, do I make mistakes.

Sometimes it feels like I make so many and will never be forgiven for them. My mind is like a movie reel that replays the mistakes over and over and over again.

“What did you do that for?”

 “Didn’t you learn last time?”

“Why do you keep screwing up?”

It’s almost as if each morning I wake up and plan to make so many mistakes even before the boys leave the house for school. Of course, I don’t plan on that, but it happens; and it happens way too often. And that movie reel just keeps playing…

“Again?  Really…again?”

Now, generally, when I make a mistake or do something unkind towards someone, I apologize and ask for their forgiveness.  Sometimes I get it, sometimes I don’t…at least not at that moment. And that pierces my heart. I guess I want their approval so I can forgive myself.

When I know I’ve messed up, I do try to live differently. But just like every single human on the face of this earth, I continue to screw up. Sometimes in big ways, sometimes just with myself.

I am imperfect and I am a sinner.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m in no way justifying what I do and what I continue to do. I actually feel like Paul writing to the Romans. Starting in chapter 7 verse 15:

I do not understand what I do. For what I WANT to do, I do not do–but what I HATE, I do. (Emphasis mine)

Verse 17 says:

 As it is, it is no longer I, myself, who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18) I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.  For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19) For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.

Skipping to Verse 24:

What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?  25) Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! 

We are born into sin. We are not immune to it. We sin on purpose—we sin without knowing it—we are just plain and simple: sinners.

But the story doesn’t end there.

 Right after Paul speaks of the wretched man he is, he writes this in Romans 8:1-2:

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.

 Every single day, I need Jesus.

Every single moment I need His forgiveness.

I need Him to set me free from sin and death.

Not so life can be perfect; not so I can avoid trials; not so I won’t make any further mistakes; but so when I do screw up (and I will), I can repent, turn from my ways with God’s help, and be free. That’s my goal.

Repent. Turn from my sin. Change my ways. Be forgiven. Be free.

Free from eternity in hell—free from the bondage of sin—free from that movie reel that insists on playing in my mind. The list goes on…

Without Jesus, I am nothing. Absolutely nothing. But with Jesus, I am forgiven, saved, loved, accepted, and totally free.

“Utterly dependent, but totally free.”

I’m guessing many of you also struggle with your own sin and guilt. It seems easier to forgive others than it is to forgive ourselves at times. The Good News is that Jesus died for all of us to give us freedom from sin.

He knocks at our door waiting to be invited in. He’ll never push His way into our lives. He wants us to ask Him in. His invitation is beautiful…

“28) Come to me, all who weary and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest. 29) Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  30) For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28-30

What a precious gift! An invite to a life where we don’t have to carry the burden. We can lay it at His feet and walk away. Not to go simply go back to our sinful lifestyle, as if we’re given a license to sin; but for us to lay our burdens down, turn from them, and walk in freedom towards a better future.

Have you accepted that invitation from Him? Have you accepted the free gift of salvation and eternal life that only comes through accepting Him as your Lord and Savior? If not, I invite you to ask Him into your life today.  That is my prayer for each of you…to experience the beautiful forgiveness that comes from the sacrifice He made upon that cross.

Jesus doesn’t  want us tied up in the shackles of our sins and mistakes. He wants to give us freedom. We only need to accept it.

May you be blessed as you ponder these questions.  May you find the peace that passes all understanding…the complete peace that can only come from Him.

God bless you, my friends.