Echoes From the Campfire

Something about an old-fashioned Christmas is hard to forget.”
              –Hugh Downs

    “Because of the tender mercy of our God, With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us, To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace.”
              –Luke 1:78-79 (NASB)
Two people in the Bible that intrigue me are Mary and Joseph.  We really know very little about them except that they were people of faith.  Mary became the mother of Jesus and Joseph was his step-father.  After Jesus is twelve Joseph is no longer mentioned.  Mary is in the shadows as well, but is mentioned a few times.
    I read last week where some brilliant, enlightened professor (I think from NitWit University) stated that Mary was raped by God, that He forced Himself on her.  God had the audacity to do that to a teenager.  First, the fool doesn’t have his story or time period correct.
    First of all, Mary gives her consent.  “And Mary said, ‘Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.’  And the angel departed from her.”  (Luke 1:38, NASB)  Second, there was no such a thing as a “teenager” in that time period.  You were a child or an adult.  The concept of adolescence (teenager) is relatively new.  The fool doesn’t know what he is talking about and like most liberals just wanted to start a ruckus.
    But Mary, let us take a look at her for a few moments.  Luke, plainly tells us something about her character, how the angel came to her, and how she became obedient to the Lord.  Matthew tells us who she was, “Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah.” (1:16, NASB)  
    There is a verse in Luke that tells me something about Mary.  She was a thinking person, she didn’t understand this mysterious birth, but she pondered everything about it.  “But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.” (2:19, NASB)
    Somewhere along the line, Jesus left home to begin His ministry and journey to the cross.  He continued to do “strange” things, miracles, healings, and His message was different.  Some sought Him for a miracle, others said He was a lunatic.  There was a time when Mary and His brothers came to get him.  “And His mother and brothers came to Him, and they were unable to get to Him because of the crowd.” (Luke 8:19, NASB)
    Mary is seen again at the crucifixion.  We have no record of Him every going “home” after He began His ministry.  Perhaps He understood that His home was heaven, and He was very focused on the mission in front of Him.  “But standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother…  When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son!'” (John 19:25-26, NASB)  At the cross she was surely torn in her heart, but I wonder, I wonder if her mind went back to all the happenings at His birth.  I wonder if she was still pondering these things in her heart.
    She is mentioned again at the tomb of Jesus.  The two angels spoke to the women when they were disturbed with the tomb being empty.  “And they remembered His words, and returned from the tomb and reported all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.  Now they were Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James…” (Luke 24:8-10, NASB)  Remember, that James was the half-brother of Jesus.
    Surely her heart began to throb.  The pondering continued.  Hope soared.  Faith rose.  We see her again in the upper room where she was waiting from the Promise of the Father and of Jesus.  “These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.” (Acts 1:14, NASB)
    What happened to Mary after her experience in the upper room?  There are many legends, some saying that she did miracles and thus became a saint.  Did she stay in Jerusalem with James?  This is very likely since he was the next oldest son.  Was she revered as the mother of the Messiah by those in the church?  There is some speculation that she went to Ephesus to live with John (John 19:27)  This is also very likely.  How long did she live after the upper room experience?  Whatever the length of time, she most definitely pondered everything in her heart.