Today we are reading about the mother of Jesus, Mary. Now we’ve already done a bit on Mary when Marg Edwards shared with us why Mary is her heroine. I want to say thank you again to Marg for what she shared with us that Sunday, but our focus today is a little different. During the season of Advent and the number of different services we do – normal Sunday morning worship, Blue Christmas, Countdown 2 Christmas, services at nursing homes, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day – you will hear some comments of thoughts from me a few times. That Mary was indeed a mother of love comes through her story in a number of different ways. Consider the love shown to her by God in choosing her to carry and birth God’s Son. Mary’s strength and determination to fulfil the task that God had given her is awe inspiring. Remember she was only a young girl, she was not married (yet), the culture of the day would not contemplate a child born out of marriage, think of the shame she would be bringing her family, not to mention the shame on her betrothed Joseph. This shame is different to the shame that our mothers who were barren and considered God forsaken would have felt and it is interesting to compare the shame that Mary wo
uld have felt to the shame Elizabeth did feel prior to her pregnancy and the shame that Joseph was experiencing on the new that his finance was pregnant and not by him. Joseph comes into this story as an important player. He too is visited by an angel and instructed on what to do and how to behave amongst all this mind-blowing news, as if the visit of an angel wasn’t mind blowing in its own right! Mary and Joseph raise the child, Immanuel, and both care and love him. We don’t hear very much about Joseph in the nativity stories, but I believe we can get the understanding that he was a good, God fearing man who cared deeply for Mary and therefore for the child she was carrying. We’re going to look at little more closely at Joseph on Christmas Eve so try not to miss that. We are told throughout the nativity stories that Mary welcom
ed all to the manger and took all that she saw and heard in her stride. There is one concept in these stories that sits with me and embeds the idea that Mary was indeed a mother of love. Two verses actually say the same thing, one is Luke 1:19 and the other Luke 1:51. Both tell us that following some events, namely the coming of the shepherds and the finding of the young Jesus in the temple, that Mary treasured all these things in her heart. The heart of a mother who loved her child, knew that he was special and treasured the memories and experiences she shared with him.