Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Reflections on Christmas: Mary

Depiction of a Nazareth of home in a recreated Nazareth Village

"...the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth.

To a virgin espoused to a man named Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary...

And the angel said unto her, Fear not, mary: for thou has found favour with God.

And, behold, thou shalt conceive in they womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS."  (Luke 1:26-31)

What kind of woman would God choose to be the mother of his son? Nephi calls her a virgin most beautiful and fair.   Alma calls her a precious and chosen vessel of the Lord.  

Historians tell us that Mary was very young when she was told of her sacred mission, perhaps as young as 13, and probably not older than 16.  Can you imagine the thoughts that must have 
filled her young mind?  

It would be she who would prepare Jesus for his triumphant mission.  Her baby would be the son of God! This was neither the first nor last time that the Lord would choose someone very young for his most important work.  David was just a boy when he was annointed King of Israel.  The Savior would come through his blood line. 

I love Liz Lemon Swindle's younger Mary.
Mormon was just 10 when he was entrusted with the plates, and 16 when he took charge of the Nephite armies.  Joseph Smith was 14 when he saw the father and the son, and began his mission to restore the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth.  We begin to see that you are never too young to be of great service to the Lord.

We love the words that Mary spoke as she accepted her sacred calling. "Behold the handmaiden of the Lord.  Be it unto me according to thy word."  If only we could be so obedient to the will of the Lord.

The name, Mary, means bitter...perhaps a reminder that a sword would one day pierce her heart.