Advent: A Very Special Mary


Saturday, December 17 (Suggested Reading: Luke 2:19)

In Barbara Robinson’s book The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, the year that the Herdmans decided to participate in the church’s Christmas program they turned the church upside down but also brought a deeper sense of meaning to the age-old nativity story.

Imogene Herdman “volunteered” to play Mary by threatening the pretty little Sunday School girl who always played Mary.  Imogene was like all her brothers and sisters, and according to the story, she never learned anything except dirty words and everyone’s secrets. But Imogene, this young girl from a ramshackle family, with coarse manners, crude language, and a notable ability to shame, fight or threaten her way into or out of any situation, took the role of Mary to heart. As she performed her role during the play, her heart was touched by the precious Christmas story. The story of Baby Jesus cut through all Imogene’s toughness and found the part of her that was tender.

It’s a sweet scene: “Everyone had been waiting all this time for the Herdmans to do something absolutely unexpected. And sure enough, that was what happened. Imogene Herdman was crying. In the candlelight her face was all shiny with tears and she didn’t even bother to wipe them away. She just sat there-awful old Imogene- in her crookedy veil, crying and crying, and crying.”

Though surely more well-behaved and gracious than Imogene Herdman, Jesus’ mother Mary was a unique young lady.  If for no other reason, she was a special woman because she was the one that God chose to be Jesus’ mother.  Mary understood that even though her Son was extraordinary, that she was just an ordinary young girl. She knew that her job would be to raise this amazing child- to feed Him, to change His diapers, to keep His clothes clean. She would teach Him to walk and to talk, and when He was older, she would teach Him to read and to know His numbers.  She would be His mother.

But her child would also be her Savior, her Messiah. This verse tells us that Mary treasured all these things, that she thought very deeply about them in her heart. I imagine that Mary likely did this a lot over the course of Jesus’ life- that she thought very deeply about who her Son was and what He came to do in her life, and in our life, too.

It seemed almost impossible to think it could be true, but as she pondered in her heart she knew
This was Heaven’s child.

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