The past two Christmases my daughter has received cards from her children with the words “Mary Christmas.” It brought me pause. The kids were simply …
The past two Christmases my daughter has received cards from her children with the words “Mary Christmas.” It brought me pause. The kids were simply trying to spell the word “Merry,” but how significant that they should spell it “Mary” instead.
It spotlights Mary and her vital role in Christmas. The example of faith she exhibited is the kind of faith to which we should all aspire. Children have faith without question. They don’t ask anything, they don’t doubt; they just believe. This is what Mary did. After all, she was still a young child (theologians agreed between 14 or 15, but the general consensus is 15) when she had a supernatural experience and was told that she would become pregnant while still a virgin. Even by today’s standards (thank goodness), it is still considered quite taboo to be unmarried and pregnant at 15 years old. Today’s consequences, however, are not as severe. Placing Mary in those circumstances in the context of the time she lived was unheard of. She could have been “put away privately,” or even stoned to death. She was a Jewish child living in a time where women had very specific roles: they were housewives, then mothers, and certainly in that order.
When you stop to consider all Mary pondered in her heart, and I mean really THINK about the news she was given, her reaction is amazing. “My soul doth magnify the Lord.” Not only did she not argue, question or become frightened or angry, Mary praised God at the glorious news. Her people had been waiting on this Messiah. She had heard stories that had been passed down for generations about His coming, and she was to become His earthly mother!
Mary is the perfect example of the faith we should all maintain. No societal pressures on the way we should believe, no fear, no questions; just pure, unbridled faith. It’s truly a beautiful, untainted faith, and our children possess that. At least for a while. Until someone in their lives exhibits a different standard of belief through example and/or defiance, children possess the unrestrained faith of Mary while they are still innocent enough to never question. They simply believe and say to everyone, “Mary Christmas.”