What did Mary Think?
These simple verses by Shelley Spiers /engage worship may well describe the range of emotions
An angel appears
bringing news of a child.
Surely it’s impossible for a virgin to conceive.
What about Joseph?
How to explain?
Imagine the scandal,
the stares and the shouts.
I’ll surely be stoned when the news gets out.
by words of comfort,
The child that I carry
is a special baby boy.
A saviour sent from God!
that the LORD
has blessed his servant.
The mighty one has done great things.
May it be to me just as you say.
I’m just a young girl,
Writing in a blog in 2019,David A. Campton imagined Mary reflecting later in life on the news brought to her by the Angel Gabriel
He who was there when the universe was formed… took form inside my womb… He who is the source of all good gifts suckled at my breast… He who walked in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve, I taught to walk as a toddler… He who carved the commandments on tablets of stone with his finger, learned them from me at the kitchen table… He who inspired the psalmists learned their songs on my knee… It was amazing… I saw the son of God grow into a man…
I know every mother thinks that their child is perfect… Particularly their first… But my son was…
Why me? I was little more than a child myself when the angel came to me… I thought it was a dream. But if it was, it was more real than anything I had ever experienced until that day. He said, it said... whatever:
“Mary you have been singled out by God. You are going to have a child!”
“But that's not possible,” I said “I'm a virgin!”
“Nothing is impossible with God!” He said... “Just ask your cousin Elizabeth… she too is to have a child.”
“Elizabeth!?” I said, “but she’s old… at least thirty…” The perspective of youth...
“And everyone knows she’s barren,” I said, “It’s impossible…”
“Nothing is impossible…” he said again.
And so it proved to be…
“All generations will call me blessed,” I sang… but a mixed blessing it would prove to be.
I was to be Mother of the Son of God… Unmarried mother of the son of God…
One of the first things Mary did was to visit her cousin Elizabeth - who was also pregnant- whose child would be called John and would become known as John the Baptist - and it was as a result of their meeting that she sang what we know as the Magnificat.
There are many medieval paintings depicting that meeting but I have just found - and love -this modern one. It captures the age difference between the two women really showing Mary's youth and the care of the older woman for her.
And, again from the engageworship website, Dave Hopwood encourages prayer based on Mary's Song
My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant.
Take a moment to reflect on this past week – what were the good moments?
The moments that made your spirit rejoice. The moments you can thank and praise God for.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
Let us praise God together now, lifting up his holy name quietly or aloud.
His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
Let’s pray quietly or aloud for those who love and serve God around the world;
perhaps mentioning the names of places and communities.
He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly;
Let us lift up places and people who are under pressure from “proud”
opponents at the moment, those who need God’s help and strength.
He has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,
according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.
Lord, help us to hang on to these promises in this coming week.
Help us to keep in mind your presence with us in every situation.
Please nurture in us thankful and appreciative hearts,
and help us to keep in mind those who need lifting up,
in the name of Jesus, Amen.