John 19:25–27 25Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. 26When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! 27Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.
No, I didn't choose the wrong word. A friend recently told me how a family member had signed all his cards and gifts with a slight miswording which said, “Mary Christmas!”
Maybe it wasn’t a mistake for him either, the first was certainly in some sense a “Mary” Christmas wasn't it?
Every year during this season we are hopefully reminded of the manger. In my imagination I see Joseph watching in wonder as the young mother goes about nursing, burping, bathing, and swaddling her child. To anyone not privy to the details it appeared very common, young women had mothered their children since Eve, had they not?
Oh, but Mary’s was no common child, hers was the Christ!
This little lady was caring for God the Son! I have no doubt that Mary’s maternal instincts kicked in and she cared for her firstborn as attentively and lovingly as any child before or since. The Creator had come to his creation by way of the virgin birth so yes, it was a Mary Christmas!
Fast forward some thirty-three years, Jesus was fulfilling his purpose. Mary is there at the cross, of course she was present, good mothers don’t ever stop caring for their children.
“The death of a mother is the first heartache a child will ever have to endure without her.”
I am certain that Mary cried with every lash of the whip upon her son’s back and cringed with every gasp and grunt he made from his cross.
Don’t you suppose that her mind raced back to the day she swaddled him that first Mary Christmas? Yes, I am sure every memory of her caring for him replayed in her mind.
But hold on, once more he calls out to his mother and her ears perk up at the sound, what is he saying?
“Woman, behold thy son!”
Does he want her to look his way? Why she hasn’t ceased since this cruel trial and execution had begun!
Then he speaks to the Apostle John,
“Behold, thy mother!”
It was then that Mary understood, Jesus at his death was caring for the one that had taken such good care of him at his birth.
Jesus was telling John to take care of his mom!
He was telling Mary to take care of John. Knowing his mom was made to love he wanted her to not cease from her purpose but rather focus her attention on another in his absence.
Can you believe that amid all his suffering and pain he was so selfless?
Yes, that is why he came, to be selfless, to offer himself for Mary and for us!
Today, I ask you to consider,
Mary had a little lamb whose blood can wash you white as snow!
It’s Christmas eve, have a Mary Christmas!
Readings for 12/24/20