Mary, did you know?
"Songwriter Mark Lowry had written the words to 'Mary, Did You Know?' in 1984 as part of the script for a church Christmas play. For years Lowry looked for the right musical setting, without success...."*
Songwriter Mark Lowery wrote this iconic song after conversations with his mother...
“Literally, what was it like teaching the Word of God to talk,” he said, referring to a title used for Jesus in the Gospel of John. “What was it like to give him a haircut? Did she ever walk into his room and say, ‘clean this mess up’?”
Mark never imagined as the song's popularity increased, so would its criticism. Many believe the inquiries made in the lyrics are condescending, implying that of course Mary understood the full extent of what she was called to carry. Jewish girlfriends talked about wanting to be the mother of the coming king, but we don't hear that from Mary. We hear doubt not about the dream come true, but the vessel it would come through.
Even with the firm foundation of Jewish teaching and the favor of God expressed to her by the angel, Mary (meaning "struggle"), still found it difficult to see what was possible through her.
Struggle can do that.
Knowing what God can do intellectually does not mean we are comfortable being used by God intimately.
Struggle can do that.
Struggle will tell you its not your time. Struggle will tell you are not equipped. Struggle will tell you that the delays are denials.
Struggle will tell you the promises of God are for you to witness, but not experience.
What is struggle whispering in your ear this Christmas?
We don't know what went through her mind riding pregnant on a donkey. We don't know how she felt being turned away from the inn. We don't know if the contractions were harder because the baby was Jesus. But like the baby in her womb, an ever-growing belief in God's capacity to use her gave her the strength she needed to move beyond the struggle.
Our ability to believe God is never more necessary and never more powerful than in the face of great struggle.
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” ~Luke 1:38 New International Version
Joseph was her protector. The angel, their GPS. The shepherds made the news go viral. The wise men foiled the plans of King Herod.
All she had to do was believe.
Mary didn't know what to expect and yet, she accepted the assignment and believed God. And when she did, The Father graced her with the time to grow in the belief that she could be the one the Savior of the World would call, "Mom".
(Elisabeth) Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name. ~Luke 1:45-49 NIV
Mark Lowery never could have imagined the speeches he wrote for a Christmas play would touch the heart of millions through song. But he believed.
This holiday season, God is not asking you to imagine. He's got that covered.
The struggle can be real. But I pray that as you celebrate Christmas this year, you do so accepting the assignment to believe the God in you like never before.
Do it in Jesus' name. Amen.
TO ALL MY GOD N ME FAMILY
CHRISTMAS EVE NIGHT
WRITER | MENTOR | TEACHER |
LOVER OF CHOCOLATE |
PURPOSED TO EMPOWER |
30+ YEARS IN MINISTRY LEADERSHIP |
PREACHER OF THE GOSPEL
Phillipa also the Founder of ilooklikeLOVE, Inc., a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization providing diaper assistance to families in need and opportunities for mothers to empower themselves.
Look for her upcoming book,
GOD n You: Finding Your Place in Forever.