Although the calendar says it’s fall, the temperatures aren’t showing it yet. Predictions say that Tuesday it will drop into the high 70s. That’s more like it! I’m looking forward to getting the air conditioner out of the kitchen window soon, preparing things for winter, dragging out my favorite quilts, and doing a little fall cleaning. Not a lot. Don’t want to overdo these things.
Saturday morning, I was contemplating the mother of Christ. Our choir is starting again today, another sign of fall, and there will be a Christmas program. Christmas falls on Sunday this year (just three months from today!), so we will have just Sacrament meeting, which I expect will be mostly music. The following Sunday starts the new year, and we’ll be back on the 9 am meeting schedule for 2017. I sort of prefer 11:30, but both have advantages and disadvantages.
I was reflecting on music that might be chosen for Christmas, and one of my favorites is Mary’s Lullaby, by Wanda West Palmer. My ward in Avondale, AZ, almost always included this in our Christmas worship somewhere. It’s beautiful sung with alto, soprano and 2nd soprano, which is how we did it. Even in the solo version below, I think the feelings of Mary’s heart come through. The singer isn’t perfect, but I think she conveys Mary’s feelings.
Thinking of the words of the song again as I sewed on Saturday, I tried to put myself in Mary’s place. She was visited by an angel, she knew who her child was and what he was to become. She had talked of the spiritual things, as well as about motherhood, with her cousin, Elizabeth, who also was carrying a blessed child.
I know there were many things she did not know, many implications and connections she didn’t make on that night of Christ’s birth. Still, I can imagine her thinking that He does not yet belong to the world, that he is not yet called to be the Savior of mankind. For right that moment, Jesus was all Mary’s, and the world could wait.
Galilee Synagogue; Mother & Jesus
Mary followed her son through his ministry, all the way to the foot of the cross. How many times did she think that perhaps things would not turn out so badly, that perhaps the “red drops on Calvary” would not be His? How many times did she think that it might come, but not now, not this week, this month, this year? I’m familiar with that kind of thinking, and I can empathize with Mary, the mother of the Savior. She was called to a hard thing. I am reminded of this reassurance from Paul to the Philippians, and thence to all of us. Philippians 4 is one of my favorite Bible chapters.
Mary is not in the Book of Mormon, though her son is, of course. Yet, she is still a hero to me simply because she said unto God’s angel, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” Luke 1:38. She said that at fourteen, scholars tell us, and never wavered from it.
We are also told in several places that Mary “kept all these things in her heart and pondered them.” I imagine her watching Jesus learning to walk, playing with other children, helping Joseph, growing into a wonderful young man whom she loved dearly.
I imagine how often her thoughts turned to His purpose on the earth. I even imagine her wishing she could take upon herself the pain and suffering he would have to endure. What mother wouldn’t wish to spare her child that? How many times over the years did she suffer for him? And how many times did she rejoice that Heavenly Father had sent Jesus to save us all?
It reminds me of a word my friend, who blogs at New Life Rising, talked about last week … bittersweet. So many things in life are both of these, and being the mother of Christ was the best example I know of bittersweet. For all this and more, Mary is my hero, too, so I’ve written about her today. Maybe your mother’s heart will be touched by Mary’s.