“Jacob [was] the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.” [Matthew 1:16]
The one woman that everyone expects to see in Jesus’ family tree is Mary. Unlike the other women, she isn’t a foreigner, a ‘fallen’ woman, a gentile, or treated as property. Mary is a young, unmarried girl, a devout Hebrew follower of God. She is engaged to an equally honourable man, Joseph.
Mary becomes the mother of God, through the power of the Holy Spirit. This blessing leads to many difficulties. She was despised and mistreated by her neighbours as a pregnant girl out of wedlock, and it’s possible she was at risk from stoning for what they perceived as her behaviour. She risked losing Joseph, who believed she had been unfaithful to him.
Mary reminds us of the many blessings that being a follower of God can bring, but also the risks involved in following his path. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has been called names for being a Christian. I know I’m not the only one who sees a world where to show your faith is costly – and in some places the cost is your life. Mary reminds us of the blessings and the cost.
you love us with a steadfast love.
We can never deserve all the many blessings that you bestow on us.
We know that we don’t always face the challenges that faith throws at us in the best way.
Help us to remember the faith of Mary,
at times quiet and unassuming, at other times bold and daring.
Help us to remember that you are with us in the blessings and the challenges,
that you walk with us every step of every day,
and that on you we can depend.