Saturday, 12 May 2018

Happy Mother's Day

When I think about Mary, the mother of Jesus, I consider her the most remarkable of mothers.
In the time of Christ's conception and birth, Jewish scriptures had foretold that a Messiah would be born who would be the Saviour of the Jewish people. As they were living under Roman occupation, they were eagerly awaiting a Messiah who would deliver them from their captivity, in the same way that Moses had led them out of slavery in Egypt centuries earlier. Therefore many young Jewish women were hoping that they would be the chosen girl to bear God's gift of a Messiah.

Mary was no doubt a young woman of exceptional character, chosen by God. When an angel appeared to her to announce that she would be the mother of the Saviour, she, very naturally, enquired as to how this could come about. She was a virgin, engaged to be married to Joseph. The angel explained that the child would be an immaculate conception, conceived through the presence of the Holy Spirit in her, not a sexual relationship.

"the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,  and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God."
Luke chapter 1, verses 30-35. 

Mary was honoured to be the mother of Jesus. She and her family and husband Joseph no doubt experienced being the subject of much gossip and slander. Forever after she was chosen to walk a different path to what she would have experienced otherwise. Perhaps her wedding was different. The circumstances of her baby's birth, away from home in a crude stable were probably different to what she had dreamt of. She was aware that her son was destined for greatness, but also for suffering. She was with her son until His earthly end, and endured the agonising experience of His crucifixion. No mother could have loved more.

Mary was a godly example to all mothers, a woman who was obedient to God no matter what the cost, a woman of great love and faithfulness.

Her story reminds us to be faithful to God in honouring our own mothers, and for those of us who are mothers, to pray for our children, to teach them of God's love and to try and live a life which will reflect His ways. It's a reminder too, to care for those women who, through whatever circumstances are doing the tough job of mothering on their own. 

"And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
    and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
    of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
   for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
    holy is his name.
 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
    from generation to generation.
 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
    he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
    but has lifted up the humble.
 He has filled the hungry with good things
    but has sent the rich away empty.
 He has helped his servant Israel,
    remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever,
    just as he promised our ancestors.”
(Luke chapter 1 :46-55)

"his mother treasured all these things in her heart"  (Luke chapter 2, v 51).

Happy Mother's Day 2018 to all the mums near and far.


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