Yesterday, in my advent reading, I considered Mary.
I spent awhile thinking bout her,
and what tasks she was given to serve the Lord in
-- the significance of motherhood.
The holiness of gestating and birthing
and breastfeeding Jesus in all its mess.
Diaper changes, and potty training.
Cooking for Him, cutting up His food.
Holding His hand, and walking slowly for His short, young legs.
Giving Him His bath, tucking Him into bed.
Getting Jesus a drink of water,
and sitting down to eat with Him at the table.
Sewing for Him;
knitting for Him;
mending His torn clothes.
Kissing boo boos, and cleaning out skinned knees.
Planting, watering, and weeding the vegetable garden.
Cutting up a chicken for dinner.
Standing by and watching while they hurt Him.
Weeping at the cross, and preparing His body for burial.
These tasks, these human tasks,
so often feel outside the service of God.
Many of them are done alone.
There's no audience for this service -- no audience but Him.
This was Mary's calling -- the great purpose for her life.
Her most holy and intimate ministry to the Lord.
They are holy things when they are done for Him.
Jesus said that a cup of water given in His name has a reward waiting.
How many cups of water do you suppose she fetched for Him?
"He who receives you receives Me," He said to His disciples,
"and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me."
Who opened her life to receive Him more than she did?
Years after she answered, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord!
Let it be to me according to your word,"
she was still enduring snide innuendos by religious people.
Her son, 'that Holy One', always looked at as tarnished by evil minds.
This woman, young and hopeful, betrothed, and a virgin --
said yes to the disruption of her life and her plans.
She gave herself entirely, body and soul, to the will of God.
No 'after I've filled up my bucket list' from her.
In her virginity, she welcomed Him.
Before her marriage, and before her home was established.
Have some, in welcoming strangers, entertained angels?
Consider Who she welcomed in to her very body.
But every one of us has the opportunity to serve Him.
Jesus said, "Whoever does the will of My Father in heaven
is My brother and sister and mother."
Oh, that I would respond like she did --
she who is highly favored,
and blessed among women,
and who found favor with God.