“Mary”

December 16, 2016

Mary, kissing the face of God

“Mary”

Note: This week we are considering the five women mentioned in the genealogy of Christ. Today we consider Mary.

Message Summary: Wonder exists beyond our ability to know and believe, between facts and faith, and it is never fully captured by either. It is stitched with threads of doubt and skepticism and yet holds on to that which it cannot deny. Like a new mother who cannot believe that her baby has finally come. Unto us a child has been born. The Savior. The Messiah. The Lord.”

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah” (Matthew 1:16). “But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).

Mary did you know that your baby boy
would some day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy
would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy
has come to make you new?
This child that you’ve delivered,
will soon deliver you.

This week we have been studying about the five women specifically mentioned in Matthew’s genealogy. We can read about four of the women in the Old Testament. The final woman we will consider is certainly the name most familiar to us although she is not mentioned in the Old Testament. In fact the name Mary is not even found in the Old Testament.

The Biblical information we have about Mary is found in the Gospels and a single reference early in the Book of Acts. She was chosen by God to be the human instrument to bring the Messiah into the world. Today let us consider a verse late in the Christmas narrative after Christ was born. “But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).

Mark LowryMark Lowry is really funny. Ok, he’s just plain silly! Brooksyne usually takes Ester to see him when he’s in the Lancaster area since she loves to listen to Mark’s humorous stories.

He told a story about dogs and how they have such a steadfast love for their owners. He illustrated this love by asking, “What would happen if you locked your wife and your dog in the trunk of the car and then came back to open it in an hour? Who would be happy to see you? The little lady or the dog?”

We first heard the song “Mary Did You Know” back in the nineties unaware of who wrote it initially. When we first learned it was Mark Lowry (along with Buddy Greene) I could hardly believe it! In my mind he is so characterized by corny humor that it was hard for me to imagine him writing such a solemn song.

Mark Lowry wrote the words in 1984 when his pastor asked him to write a poem for the living Christmas tree choir presentation. Initially it was merely a little-known poem until Bill Gaither showed it to Buddy Greene who is also a musician at the Homecoming concerts. He wrote the beautiful melody to “Mary Did You Know”. The song essentially considers what Mary pondered in her heart.

It considers just how much Mary knew concerning her newborn Son and is written as an overview of His life; His miracles, His sufferings and His ultimate victory ending with the phrase, “This sleeping child you’re holding is the great I am.”

Today’s Scripture text describes Mary as a young mother and her awe at the events surrounding her Son’s birth. “But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.”

“Mary treasured all these things” Today many mothers keep a baby book chronicling the developmental steps in their baby’s life such as a tiny footprint at birth, inoculation records, photos and records of specific achievements. Is it possible that Mary had something like a baby book accessible to Luke?

“Pondering them in her heart.” “Ponder” translates the Greek word “sumballousa” in all standard translations. One commentator explains “Sumballousa as an internal contemplation. It is an inner discussion. Sumballousa tells us that she conversed within herself and wrestled with these things in her heart. In the past the “heart” used to be the seat of knowledge. Today we would place her pondering in her “mind”.

Using all the logic she could locate and reason she could recruit, Mary beheld what had just happened and could not wrap her head or heart around it. She didn’t fully grasp it. She held it in wonder. Wonder exists beyond our ability to know and believe, between facts and faith, and it is never fully captured by either. It is stitched with threads of doubt and skepticism and yet holds on to that which it cannot deny. Like a new mother who cannot believe that her baby has finally come. Unto us a child has been born. The Savior. The Messiah. The Lord.”

Mary did you know that your baby boy
is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy
will one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy
is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you’re holding
is the great I am.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, there is so much to contemplate and ponder concerning the birth of Your Son, Jesus. Mary is a tremendous example of one who was unable to fully comprehend or understand Your plan, but trusted You to take care of those troubling matters that concerned her. Help us to follow in her steps and trust You to work out Your will and plan in our lives even in the mysterious workings of our daily circumstances. Your humble and obedient servant, Mary, fulfilled Your plan for her life and thereby we receive the Christ Child; the Savior, the Messiah, our Lord! For this we are thankful. Amen.


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Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
“Mary, Did You Know?”  Video  Mark Lowry  Nice simple version someone just posted

“Mary Did You Know”  Video  This a video taken of a choir Brooksyne directed seven years ago with myself as narrator.

“When Love Was Born”  Video  Mark Schultz

“David’s Song”  Video  Steve and Annie Chapman   David Penley, a friend from Texas, suggested this song in going along with our message yesterday.

Resources for Christmas Celebrations
(We will leave these resources posted below our daily messages through Christmas)

Each year we share several online resources that we have used over the years and that may be a blessing to families and churches during this Christmas season.

“In Remembrance of Me” pdf  This is a passion-filled Scripture reading for two adults. Brooksyne and I have used this reading with great receptivity during Christmas Eve services over the years.  We suggest, if possible, a musical background as the message is read. It is also a great lead-in to a Communion service. It should be thoroughly practiced and read with great feeling.  Here’s a great Communion Hymn for Christmas (Video)

“When Christ Was Born” pdf This is an adaptation to the tune of “How Great Thou Art”. It’s a great song to sing as a congregation since most are familiar with and love the tune.

Responsive Christmas Scripture readings for church or family:
John 1:1-18  pdf
“O Come Let Us Adore Him”  pdf

My First Christmas In Heaven  This is a blessed reminder for all who lost a loved one this year.  This is the poem that Brooksyne read and wrote about in this message.

Christmas Knowledge Test

We have also posted two Christmas carol quizzes here (scroll down).

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