Jesus and his mother Mary.
In these days leading up to Good Friday and Easter we have been reflecting on some of the words Jesus spoke from the Cross.
For me, the most poignant of these words were to Mary, his mother:
Dear woman, here is your son.
Jesus was concerned to both console and provide for Mary.
He was the eldest son in the family and was expected to do that.
So this week we consider the relationship between Jesus and Mary, and how it developed through the changing circumstances they faced.
V 19 Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.
Mary thought a lot about what was happening in her life – and are you surprised! She was young, had her first baby – and hadn’t tongues been wagging about that – she had heard news from angels, (and her husband had too), and even her cousin Elisabeth seemed to know the bigger picture. And now a few shepherds turned up unexpectedly to tell her what they had seen and heard. There was plenty to think about as she nursed the infant Jesus! Isn’t it hard to put yourself in her shoes as this young mother tried to come to terms with what was going on.
My guess is that she went on thinking about it for the next 30 years, until Jesus stepped out of the shadows and into the glare of his brief public ministry.
I wonder too if there were moments when the whole thing seemed a fantastic dream and doubts about the reality of what she had experienced crept in. She would have been less than human if she had never had a shred of doubt about the promises made to her.
Isn’t it like that with all of God’s promises made to us even now?
The early Christians thought that about the promise of Jesus’ return. Some of them expected it so soon that they even gave up work to wait for him, and others became disillusioned saying ‘“What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.”’ (2 Peter 3) Waiting for a promise to be fulfilled is really hard, and Mary patiently waited for 30 years!