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Christmas Reflections: Did Mary Really Know?

While living in the dawn of the information age, sometimes I wonder if it’s good to have too much information.

With one click, we instantly receive answers to every question, updates to any event, and access to content that would rival the bookshelf of an aged professor.

Even Google has algorithms that gauges your interest and feeds you with articles and advertisements.

Would the virgin Mary post on Instagram that she was carrying the Christ child?

Would the world react with alarm or joy when the shepherds gave their report?

Would there have been cameras and smart phones recording the arrival of three wise men in Bethlehem?

Doubtful. It’s not the type of news that people care about.

Mary cared. And I can only wonder how she processed – or “pondered in her heart” – all the information and events that accompanied the birth of Christ.

But did Mary really know?

A popular Christmas song asks this question.

Did Mary truly know what was going to happen to Jesus as the prophet Isaiah foretold?

He wasn’t going to be the king that the Israelites expected. He was the King – Savior of the world.

Was Mary able to cut through the cultural expectations of a Messiah and fully comprehend the words of Isaiah?

Or would that be too much information?

It would be humanly impossible for a parent to emotionally process the prophecy that their child will tragically die in their early thirties.

Would you want to know?

It seems to me that a loving God spares us from giving too much information. He gives us all that we need to know.

The Lord is far more interested in instilling trust rather than bringing us into his inner circle.

God does not provide us with a book that details our life story. Instead, he gives us a redeemed life in Christ and tells us to go live it.

Our names are in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

And that’s all we need to know.

I think Mary knew all that she needed to know and by faith, she responded to the will of God.

“..let it be to me according to your word.”

Luke 1:38

The Lord provided her enough answers to affirm her faith and trust that God knew what He was doing.

Did she still worry? Naturally. Did she still get anxious? Absolutely. It’s the child in her womb that was perfect, not Mary.

But did she know that her baby boy was to die a gruesome death and that she was going to witness it?

That would have been too much information.

But God knew.

In that glorious mystery that we can’t even begin to fathom, Christ’s birth is that point in human history where God became Immanuel to live and to die on our behalf. In birth, God was exalted. In death, God took upon himself the sins of the world. That’s good news worth spreading. It’s information that everybody needs to know.

I’m grateful that a loving gracious God spares me from giving too much information. Yet, like Mary, he lovingly gives me enough information to ponder in my heart to know that God is God and I am not.

God is far more interested that we, by faith, simply take him at His Word.

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  1. Mike Schriefer on December 18, 2021 at 6:31 am

    That’s a great perspective on what I’ve often wondered, not just for Mary but the disciples too.
    Thank you.

  2. Dave Malnes on December 18, 2021 at 4:30 pm

    Thank you, Mike. This is such an amazing — yet contemplative song. I am not sure if I have come to any answers, but its has helped me be more reflective during Christmas when I observe the manger with the message of the cross.

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