Mary’s Extraordinary Day

It was past midnight and everyone was asleep. Everyone, that is except Mary. The day before had been beautiful and confusing. Mary’s young son, Jesus, had received three very unusual visitors. They came late at night.  Joseph, as usual had been so attentive and kind, making certain that his young wife and son were warm and comfortable before he had retired for the night.

No sooner, however, had he settled down before he heard a commotion nearby. Three men riding camels and adorned in robes of silk were asking where the young king could be found. King? Here in Bethlehem? They were told there was no king except King Herod. The three were not to be put off. They kept asking until they made their way to where Jesus lived with his parents. Mary watched in fascination as the exotic strangers presented gifts, one by one, to her young child. Gold, myrrh, and frankincense were presented with reverence as each stranger knelt before Jesus. Little did Mary know of the significance of each gift. The gold, an appropriate gift for a king, would soon be needed to help them flee to Egypt and out of the reach of a very jealous king. King Herod was intent on killing the child whom he viewed as a threat to his throne. The frankincense was used in temple worship. It was mixed with the oil that was used to anoint the priests of Israel. This gift acknowledged Jesus as High Priest. The myrrh was a spice used for embalming. How difficult it must have been for Mary to see this gift presented to her son. Three noble and wealthy gentiles had traveled far to find a child of humble birth.  What had led them to this place, at this time?

Mary sat beside her sleeping child and pondered all of this and wondered what Jesus would become. She knew from the beginning that she would give birth to a son and he would be special. An angel had told her this. But, now what? There had been no instructions left to guide her once her baby had come into the world. Added to the worries of every new mother, Mary had no idea of how to fulfill God’s plan in her child’s life. He was, after all, the Son of God. How could she, only a girl herself, provide for such a special little boy?

Mary’s eyes grew weary and she lay down next to Jesus and uttered a prayer for guidance from God. As sleep began to claim her, she thought she heard a voice saying, “Rest now, Mary. Have faith in me and my plans.” So, with a peacefulness in her heart, she fell asleep.

Just like Mary, there are times when we don’t know what to do or what is coming next. That is when we need to listed for reassurance from God: “Rest my child have faith in me and my plans for you.”

Matthew 2:11On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Debra Ison