As the upstairs room was now available Rufus and Merry helped to move Joseph, Mary and Jesus. Mary was grateful that she had a proper bed to sleep in and the room was bright and sunny which lifted her spirits immediately. The exhaustion was still very present and Mary spent most of her time resting and found that the quietness meant that she was able to regularly nap. Mary did miss her woolly companions though and they had made a slight fuss as she had packed up her things, she had stroked their gentle faces and thanked them for their warmth and companionship. Between her naps and attending to Jesus Mary had lots of time to think and she found herself reflecting on this wonderful child that had been gifted to her.
The Magi’s reminder of the prophetic declarations had sunk deep into Mary’s heart and she had gradually been unpacking the other prophecy’s as they returned to her mind.
It was just as the prophet from old had foretold, Mary as a virgin had indeed conceived and given birth to her son Jesus. As she gazed upon His face she wondered if He really could be Immanuel, God dwelling with the lowly. (Isaiah 7:14)
As Jesus began to stir she wondered how the tiny bundle before her could possibly hold the promises that had been foretold. Could the government truly rest upon those currently feeble shoulders? Could Jesus possibly live up to the names of Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace? How was it possible for His government and peace to never end?
Mary smiled and picked Jesus up as she declared over Him that He would rule with fairness and justice from the throne of David for all of eternity. Mary kissed Jesus’ cheek as she held onto the promise that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies would make it happen. (Isaiah 9:6-7)
Mary wondered if the angel who had visited her would one day visit her precious son.
As Mary attended to Jesus’ needs she wondered if He could possibly be the new shoot, the new branch that would bear the Spirit of the Lord. As she looked into His eyes she wondered if she could already see wisdom and great understanding buried within. She hugged Him closer as she prayed for the promised spirit of counsel and might and for the fear of the Lord to fill Him so that He could delight in obeying God. Mary reminded herself that she needed to teach Jesus to judge based on a person’s heart not their appearance and she prayed that Jesus would indeed seek justice for the poor and exploited.
As Jesus let out a small cry Mary laughed and wondered how such a small voice was to one day develop into a powerful voice that would make the earth shake. As Jesus continued to fuss Mary hugged him close and prayed that He would grow up to be strong enough to destroy the wicked.
Mary changed Jesus’ soiled cloths and wondered what a belt of righteousness would look like on Him and as she placed a clean cloth over his bottom she wondered what truth undergarments would be made out of. (Isaiah 11:1-5)
With Jesus fed and clean Mary carried Him over to the window to gaze at the world below, as people rushed here and there Mary wondered how Jesus could be a banner of salvation to the world. Apart from the few unusual visitors people seemed oblivious to His existence. How were the nations to rally around Him? How was this oppressed land to become a glorious place to live? (Isaiah 11:10)
As Jesus squirmed in Mary’s arms she wondered how He could be strengthened enough to carry the Spirit of God. As she gazed upon His small face she couldn’t understand how He could possibly bring justice to those who were wronged and to all the nations. As she felt Jesus’ heart beating next to her own she prayed that He would be strengthened to never falter or lose heart and indeed bring the promised justice to the entire world.
Mary’s eyes filled with tears as she thought of her baby boy leaving her for distant places but He was foretold to take His instructions and teachings to the furthest lands. (Isaiah 42:1-4)
Mary gently rocked Jesus to sleep and surrendered her precious child to God. She knew that she needed to completely trust God and clung to the assurance that her son would bring the message of salvation that the people so longed to hear. Her heart broke as she recalled the promise that He would be despised, rejected and scorned by men. Mary prayed that hearts would be open to hear His message.
Tears rolled down her face as she prayed against the promise of great sorrow, pain and grief. She kissed Jesus’ cheek as she wondered how He could possibly bear the world’s sorrow and pain. Mary held Jesus tighter as she prayed against the promise of being struck down, degraded, humiliated, wounded and crushed. Her heart felt heavy at the thought of Jesus being harmed in any way, as she looked at His perfect face she couldn’t contemplate it scrunched with pain.
Mary cried out to God to spare her from the pain of seeing Him snatched from her and prayed for Jesus to have a long fruitful life. She couldn’t comprehend how her small child could possibly bear the sins of many and intercede with God over the transgressions of men. (Isaiah 53:1-12)
As Mary watched Jesus sleep she stood at the window and allowed the warmth of the sun to take away the heaviness that was threatening to lodge in her heart. More tears flowed freely down her face as she spent more time unpacking the prophetic declarations. Mary wondered how it could be possible for Jesus to be the One to intervene for the oppressed? How could this small feeble child possibly step in and save many? Could He really force the enemies of Israel to pay for their evil deeds? Would those in the West truly respect the name of Jesus? How could those in the East glorify Him? As Mary stood gazing at her small child she wondered how He could be the great Redeemer.
There were so many mysteries foretold.
How would God’s spirit come to dwell with them and never leave them? Would it be a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night like when the Israelites were in the desert?
Mary grew up knowing that she would be required to pass God’s promises from her generation to the next, just as her parents had done with her, but the current dangerous times raged around them threatening their freedom. Would Joseph be able to pass on his wisdom to their son? Would she be able to freely share all the wonderful promises of God?
Mary wrestled with all her questions and turned to look at the clouds gathering in the sky above. As the rain clouds gathered Mary prayed for a refreshing to come to the land that she loved but more importantly for a refreshing to people’s hearts.
As the first rain drops fell she was reminded of the great prophet Isaiah, he had promised that the Lord would bring about a freedom where the lips of the faithful could tell the tales with no end. (Isaiah 59:16-21)
Mary smiled, a great courage entered her heart and she softly sung a song that her father had taught her about the coming Messiah:
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.
He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favour has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.
To all who mourn in Israel, take heart for you will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair.
In righteousness you will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for His own glory.
Strength will be given to you to rebuild the ancient ruins, repairing cities destroyed long ago.
The Lord will revive you even though you’ve been deserted for many generations.
Foreigners will be your servants, they will feed your flocks, plow your fields and tend your vineyards.
You will be called priests of the Lord, ministers of our God.
You will feed on the treasures of the nations and boast in their riches.
Instead of shame and dishonour, you will enjoy a double share of honour.
You will possess a double portion of prosperity in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.
For the Lord God loves justice and hates robbery and wrongdoing.
He will faithfully reward His people for their suffering and make an everlasting covenant with them. Their descendants will be recognized and honoured among the nations.
Everyone will realize that they are indeed God’ beloved people when they see how much the Lord has blessed them.
Oh how my lips shout with praise, I’m overwhelmed with joy!
For the Lord my God has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am dressed and ready for the great wedding.
The Sovereign Lord will show His justice to the nations of the world.
Everyone will praise him!
His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring, plants will be springing up everywhere.
With the smell of fresh rain filling the room, her song finished and Jesus sleeping soundly, Mary laid down to nap.
Jesus – God’s lamb, the One sent to take away the sins of the world! (See John 1:29)