Friday, December 16, 2016

FMF Friday with Kate Motaung
The word is "Now"

It Is Always Now

Everyone's eyes are on Jesus, the Christ-child in the manger. And so they should be. He is the reason we celebrate Christmas. But I want to veer a little and look into the eyes of Mary, His mother. I would like to follow her to the stable and then to the cross. Jesus was divine and birthed through her, but she was fully human. Carrying the divine doesn't make you divine.

We don't know an awful lot before the Angel of the Lord approached her. We know she was promised to a man, Joseph, and and angel came and told her what the Lord was going to do. She wasn't really asked if she was up for this. She asked a few questions, and then said "May it be done according to your word." Do you know what she did next? She went to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, who was pregnant. I would probably do something like that. Find the closest person you can trust with a secret, at least before you really have to deal with it. Her visit just confirmed what she had heard. She did the right thing and she did it at the right time. It was her "now".

And the Lord dealt with Joseph and provided a way to Bethlehem to a stable and eight days later He was circumcised and went to the temple to present Him to the Lord. It was there that Simeon, a righteous and devout man prophesied to Mary.

"Behold, the Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed--and a sword will pierce even your own soul- to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.

And that's where I thought, 'what is she thinking about this'? She had already paid a price for carrying this child. Her life had been in danger of a stoning and the Lord delivered her. Herod had wanted to kill Him and they were warned and traveled another way. Now what? And would she ever have peace? Surely her soul had begun to feel a piercing. What thoughts did she have that needed to be revealed. She knew He was her Savior also, yet did she realize the depravity of her own heart? Can we humanize her for a moment?

Have you ever lost your child in a crowd? I have. My son was three and we were at a parade in Boston and there were thousands of people. I lost sight of him for a good 7 or 8 minutes. Do you know what ran through my mind? I was frantic! Thank God I found him and no harm was done.  Mary lost sight of Jesus when Jesus was twelve. It was crowded.  What went through her mind? And it wasn't a few minutes. It was three days! He was found in the temple teaching, and all He said was "Don't you know I must be about my Father's business"? I guess that was a "now" moment. 

What of the wedding at Cana when they ran out of wine and she told Jesus. "Woman, what does that have to do with us"?  It must have been conflicting. Who likes a reprimand from your child? What does one say, I'm your mother? She could've gotten "I'm your Lord"! She quickly told the servants to listen to what He said. And He did turn the water into wine.

I love this one. It was reported to Him, "Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wishing to see you." But He answered and said to them, "My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it". Lk 8:20, 21. Really? Do you think any of her human emotions got in the way of that one? It doesn't record her response, but I'm sure it pierced her. A "now" moment.

The real piercing came at the cross as she watched in agony his executors pierce His side and water and blood spilled onto the ground. What were her thoughts? Could she forgive them as was His plea to her from on that cross?

I think about what God has birthed in me. I have salvation, that means Christ is in me. I have children, I have things I believe God has put on my heart to pursue, I have issues that need repenting of, areas to turn around and go in a different direction, what is my "now" moment. Yes, I will feel it and it is necessary.

Every moment is a "now" moment. There may not be another day, another time, another opportunity. All I have is now. 

Anything God births in you must come to the place where it pierces your very soul. Only then when every strength is gone and you let it die, can resurrection take place. And when there is resurrection, the invisible becomes visible.

Hope cannot be measured by our proclamation of its reality, nor by the depths of our human rationale when we no longer see it.  It is only measured by the love from which hope springs forth.

"For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord". Rom 8:38, 39.


  1. This is just great. I never thought of Mary's visit to Elizabeth as someone wanting to share a secret, but it makes perfect sense, and makes Mary so vulnerably human!

  2. This is a beautiful reflection on Mary's life and faith. Such a privilege to be chosen by God but such a huge cost too. And yet so much hope because as we die to self we are raised to new life. Visiting from FMF.