And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
Luke 2:35 (KJV)
(Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
This picture, Kissing the Face of God, by Morgan Weistling, shows my favorite painting of Mary and Jesus. A young mother—no halo of light; no light around the head of Jesus—who loves her baby: a real person.
Every time I hear someone dreaming of a white Christmas, I think of Mary. Please. No snow.
When Joseph received the notice of the long trip to pay his taxes, he must have worried. How could he make the trip more comfortable for Mary? Most of us haven’t ridden on a donkey. Maybe it’s preferable to other means of travel. Did Joseph create a chair or side-saddle to make the trip easier? But she suffered a painful bouncing trip no matter what.
And then, on the verge of delivery, no one will rent them a room. Finally, an inn keeper offers them his stable. So she gives birth in a barn and lays her baby in a manger.
Nativity scenes picture a manger surrounded by animals. But I prefer to believe the pastor who said the innkeeper offered her an empty stable. He said they kept their stables spotless. Maybe the hay was new and covered in a soft throw. And, before long, the couple bought or rented a house where the Magi visited.
Thirty-three years later, still a young woman, she watched as they took her first-born son down from the cross, barely recognizable—a sword through Mary’s soul. We know she witnessed the crucifixion because Jesus gave her in to the care of the Apostle John from the cross.
Mary lived a good middle-class life in the care of Joseph. And knowing God used her so profoundly filled her with joy. But how could any woman endure that day at the cross?
When God promises a blessing, it likely will come with trouble. In Mary's case, God honored her after her death. Her life has shone for centuries. But she suffered pain and heartbreak during her time on earth. If God made a promise to you, and you don't see it happening, wait. It may not be in this lifetime.
Dear Lord. Thank You for sending the Christ as a little baby to live among us. And giving us Your Bible to tell. Thank you for the courageous young family You provided for Him.
Kissing the Face of God, by Morgan Weistling. Click artist name to visit his gallery. Old West artist