Advent Day 23: Mary, pain and waiting


mary icon

Who can resist those beautiful pictures of Mary or Mary and baby Jesus? The pictures and icons are humble and cause us to stop and remember the sacrifice made by Mary to bring our Lord into this world. For us Mary is someone quite special, but for those who knew both her and Jesus, they were two ordinary people. If only they knew!

As Christmas day draws closer, let us remember what Mary would have endured physically as she prepared to birth Jesus. Let us remember Mary and Joseph during their time of confusion, wonder, uncertainty and great expectation. Let us join them by responding to God in faith when He asks us to trust Him as He uses us to carry out the impossible.


Mark 6:2-4

 When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed.

“Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.

Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.”

The following is from John Piper:

Mary was a magnificent person.

  • Her humility shines (“He has looked on the humble estate of his servant,” Luke 1:48).
  • Her faith was profound (“Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord,” Luke 1:45).
  • Her suffering was deep (“A sword will pierce through your own soul,” Luke 2:35).
  • Her God was sovereign (“He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones,” Luke 1:51–52).
  • And her meditations were full of truth (“Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart,” Luke 2:19).

Therefore, remember her. Admire her. Bless her. Be inspired by her. But do not go beyond what the New Testament portrays. Our calling is to be the mother of Jesus more than to venerate her (Luke 8:21).

Loving and learning from Mary with you,

Pastor John Piper, Sermon: Bless the Mother of Jesus, but Mainly, Be the Mother of Jesus.  December 02, 2009. www.