We women have a preponderance for remembering. We’re right on top, with birthdays and anniversaries. We usually don’t forget important appointments, even when we put them on the calendar. We remember our child’s first words, steps and accomplishments. We often bring up the past, when we shouldn’t. Memories may even remind us of unhealed wounds from long ago. I think God instilled this ability in women because of our need to nurture and care for those we love.
Mary was no different than any mother. Her claim to fame was the fact that she was the chosen vessel for the birth of the Son of God. Her ability to accept this with humility and faith shows us how much she trusted God’s divine plan. It also demonstrates how God uses the ordinary to accomplish the extraordinary – just as He uses each of us to fulfill His plan for the world.
Memories can surface when we least expect them. Sometimes we save them knowing they have value, but just aren’t sure what that is until we see them come to fruition. During this point of Jesus’ ministry, some of those old memories had to be coming to mind for Mary. Her Son was no longer a child. He was a man of thirty, but even when our children become adults, we mothers continue to remember things from their youth.
The early days after his birth were filled with happenings that simply didn’t make any sense at the time. Like the visit of the Magi and their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. She couldn’t have comprehended their meaning then. Gold was a gift intended for royalty – Frankincense was the sweet smelling fragrance offered to God in sacrifice and adoration- The myrrh was used as an embalming spice for death. In hindsight, we can see exactly what those gifts represented. This child was royalty – the King of Creation Himself. The sweet Frankincense was intended for worship, which He deserved. Myrrh would’ve been one of the spices used in His burial.
There was the presentation at the temple with Simeon and his unexplainable words regarding her Son, Jesus as “a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.”
There was the time Jesus was left behind in Jerusalem as a boy. Being part of a great caravan, Mary probably assumed He was with another relative. When she and Joseph realized that Jesus wasn’t with them, I can imagine the panic setting in. They returned to Jerusalem and found the boy in the temple speaking with great authority about the scriptures; doing His Father’s work.
The memories she’d tucked away so long ago would come to light again as Jesus carried His words to the masses. His audiences were growing. His words were touching the hearts and minds of those of all nationalities, races and beliefs. There still was a long road ahead – one that would eventually lead to the cross. Mary thought about those early days once more as she listened to her adult Son spread His words of hope and promise for all.