It’s mind boggling: “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…” (John 1:14, ESV). The Son of God “emptied himself taking the form of a slave, being made in the likeness of men and being found in the appearance as a man” (Philippians 2:7). All of that meant being born as an infant to a human mother.
Have you or your spouse ever tried to think of who you would like to raise your children, if both of you were to die in an accident? Selecting someone is a difficult and awesome task, because you not only think of the physical needs of the child, but the emotional and spiritual needs as well. That leads me to believe that Mary had to be a very special mother to have the privilege of giving birth and raising the Messiah.
We know so little about Mary, but the few glimpses of her that we have are revealing. She was a woman of faith. When the angel, Gabriel, announced to her that she would give birth even though a virgin and that “nothing will be impossible with God.” She responded in faith, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38, ESV). Consider the risk! She was engaged, but not yet married. To fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14 involved an incredible burden. Can you imagine Joseph’s first response? But God was with her. An angel of the Lord appearing in a dream convinced Joseph.
We see glimpses of Mary practicing her faith. Mary and Joseph appear in the temple for the appropriate offerings following Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:22-24). Mary would have been ceremonially unclean the first seven days following the birth, and then Jesus would have been circumcised on the eighth day. After that she would continue for 33 days as days of purification. Following the days of purification, they would travel to Jerusalem with the newborn. Later, when Jesus is twelve, we see the family traveling to Jerusalem for Passover. Mary practiced her faith.
Mary’s hymn of praise (Luke 1:46-55) betrays a great familiarity with God’s word. Many note comparisons with Hannah’s prayer (1 Samuel 2). God’s word was treasured in her heart.
Mary did the mundane and daily tasks of raising a child: preparing meals, washing clothes, sweeping the floor, and giving the care and comfort that only a mother can give. Mothers shape character and instill principles to live by in those teachable moments. Mary’s spiritual concern shows her to be a special mother. She demonstrates the most important quality that any mother can have.
Today is a great day to say thank you to your own special mother!