A buried nativity sceneThis is the script of a monologue I did as an older Mary looking back on her life as Jesus’ mother. Please note that the part where Jesus’ family thinks He’s crazy is true. I didn’t make it up. You’ll find it in Mark 3. You’ll also read in John 6 that Jesus’ brothers didn’t believe in him at first, although later James and Jude became believers and leaders of the church.

Hello.  My name is Mary.  You may or may not know who I am, since I’m afraid I told Peter in no uncertain terms that he was not to announce me by striding ahead of me in the streets and shouting, “Here comes the mother of our Lord!”

Ah, don’t mind me, I love Peter dearly, and I am the mother of the Lord.  Shortly after he was born, his father – his adoptive father, my beloved Joseph – and I brought him to the Temple. The prophet Simeon said that a sword would pierce my heart, and he was right. Everyone knows my heart was broken when my son died on a tree, but that was not the only time.

It started when he was 12, and disappeared in Jerusalem. Joseph and I were frantic when we finally discovered him at the Temple. We scolded him but he told us coolly that didn’t he know he must be about his father’s business – and he did not mean Joseph.

It happened again when he was 32, and traveling for his ministry. Joseph has passed away by then, and I lived with my younger sons and their families. It wasn’t so bad when Jesus was based in Capernaum, but when he started traveling throughout Galilee to preach and heal, his brothers and I were very concerned. We heard that he had come to a town in Galilee, not too far from Nazareth.

We knew he was in danger. The teachers of the law were angry and following him around to argue with him, and we were terrified that the High Priest’s guard, and maybe even the Romans, would not be far behind.

And the things they told me that Jesus said! Strange things, my son James was appalled at what his older brother was saying. We began to think that Jesus had lost his mind under the pressure of his travels and the crowds that met him everywhere. A few weeks before, his brothers James and Jude had told him to go do his mighty works somewhere else, because they didn’t believe he could do them! I knew he could, but I was afraid for him. We were all afraid for him.

So a few weeks later, after the Feast of Tabernacles, we were back home. We got word that Jesus was teaching and healing again, and the crowds were following him. It was all too much! So my sons and I traveled a few miles to the town he was staying in, determined to bring him back with us.

Jesus and the twelve men he always had with him – some women disciples too – were in someone’s house. The crowd was so big that it filled the rooms to bursting, and we couldn’t get in. But we heard the fight that was going on inside, everyone did. Jesus’ voice always carried when he wanted it to.

We heard some men talking in educated but angry voices. “He’s possessed by Satan!” someone yelled, and others agreed. “By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.”

I heard my son answered back in that clear, carrying voice of his. “How can Satan drive out Satan?” he said, sounding astonished.  He made them sound like fools. But then he said this: “This is the truth, people can be forgiven all their sins and everything they say against me. But if they blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, they will never be forgiven; they are guilty of eternal sin.”

He was angry when he said it. There was silence for a moment and then the men started to shout that he had an impure spirit inside of him. Some power seemed to roll through the air and I thought I felt the ground move beneath my feet.

But I had had enough. Enough! I would rescue my son from himself.

James began to say loudly that his mother was here and his brothers, and someone needed to let him in. Although the crowd didn’t move, some people standing nearby recognized us and passed the message inside. We heard several people tell Jesus that his mother and brothers were outside looking for him.

I waited for him to come out so we could take him home.

But he didn’t come out. Instead he said to the people in the house – and we could hear him clearly, we all could — “Here are my mother and my brothers!  Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

I staggered back, Jude had to catch me. My sons were angry, but I was not. Because Jesus was right. In that moment my heart changed and the truth poured in. I did not know how my son would rule Israel, but I knew he would. God had promised us a Messiah and this was my son. Jesus was serving his Father. And so must I.

I won’t tell you that I had no other alarms after that. I was often afraid for him, and when he was arrested and I saw him the next day trying to drag that cross – I cannot forget it.

But neither can I forget how I felt when the Magdalen and Joanna came to me and said, “He is alive!” And when John and Peter later told me the same thing, and they were crying harder then the women. “He’s alive!”

And when I was with the rest of my son’s followers after my son returned to heaven, and the Holy Spirit like fire descended on us and filled our hearts, and when Peter – gruff, unsophisticated Peter – preached a sermon that brought 3000 people to Messiah in one day!

I will see him again, I know.  I think it will not be long now.  My sons James and Jude came to understand who their brother truly was, and are helping to build the church in Jerusalem. The rest of my children also believe.

I’m getting older, and although I receive the greatest of care from John and his family, I will not live forever. I had no desire to.  Who would, when dying means going home?

So, as you say it here and in this time, Merry Christmas; the merriest of Christmases. Remember the pain that I experienced at his birth, at times throughout his life, and the agony of his death.  But remember that even then, the joy he gave me was far greater than the greatest pain, and that when my life is over, there will be only joy forever.

Welcome the Christ child who became the man, who became the holy sacrifice, and who became our high priest forever.  And thanks to the infinite and overwhelming grace of God, the One who became my son.

 

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