“Mary, Did You Know?” is my husband’s very favorite Christmas song, and I love it, too. It was written in 1991 by Mark Lowry, with music by Buddy Greene, when both were part of the Gaither Vocal Band. Since then it has been recorded and performed beautifully by many artists.
One reason it captures us so is that it takes us right back to the moment described in Luke 1 when Gabriel appeared to Mary to tell her, “Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end” (Luke 1:30-33).
The lyrics in the song go on to outline all the things Mary couldn’t possibly have known as a teenager in Nazareth, surprised and frightened by the appearance of God’s messenger. Things she couldn’t even know as she held her newborn son after he was born: That He would one day walk on water, save our sons and daughters, give sight to a blind man, calm the storm with His hand…that He was, in fact, the great I Am! Perhaps the most touching line in the song is, “When you kiss your little baby, you’ll kiss the face of God.”
No, Mary couldn’t possibly know all the joys and sorrows that this assignment from God would bring her. But she knew God, and she trusted Him. After asking just one quite reasonable question, “How will this be…since I am a virgin?” (Luke 1:34), Mary submitted herself completely to God’s will for her life. “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said” (Luke 1:38).
Mary was called blessed among women. Yes, there was great heartache, but Mary’s assignment brought her many blessings as well. Is there an area of your life where you are struggling with something God is asking of you? Trust and submit to His will. The blessings will follow.
First published by Fellowship of the Rockies, Christmas 2016.