Christmas Carols - Mary Did You Know?

Christmas Carols - Mary Did You Know?


Mary did you know that your baby boy

Would one day walk on water?

Did you know that your baby boy

Would save our sons and daughters?

Did you know that your baby boy

Has come to make you new?

This child that you've delivered

Will soon deliver you

Mary did you know that your baby boy

Would give sight to a blind man?

Did you know that your baby boy

Would calm a storm with his hands?

Did you know that your baby boy

Has walked where angels trod?

When you kiss your little baby

You've kissed the face of God

Oh Mary did you know...

The blind will see, the deaf will hear

And the dead will live again

The lame will leap, the dumb will speak

The praises of the lamb...

Mary did you know that your baby boy

Is Lord of all creation?

Did you know that your baby boy

Would one day rule the nation?

Did you know that your baby boy

Is heaven's perfect Lamb?

This sleeping child you're holding

Is the great I AM



Mary Had No Idea

I invite you to reflect with me. It’s Christmastime and Mark Lowry asks, through his lyrics, “Mary, did you know?” I turn to Luke 1:31-33 where an angel says to Mary,

You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him 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 Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.

By my lights, I can infer that Mary knew that the gospel in Isaiah 52:7 would be fulfilled by her son:

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

It’s charitable to assume that Mary knew that her son would reveal himself as the one true King of all creation. That her son would be the Christ.

However, as I reflect some more, I cannot assume that Mary knew what it would be like to experience her son grow up while knowing he would fulfill Isaiah 53:4-5:

Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

If she understood the truth of these words, then Mary is a mother who knows that her child will die horribly. A mother who knows that she will likely outlive (in a sense) her baby boy. A mother who is left to wonder what that day will be like. Of course, perhaps Mary had no idea what her son would face. Regardless, there can be no doubt, she did in fact watch her son face the cross, and she could not have known what that would be like.

Mary’s hope (our hope, and the hope of all mothers) rests, then, in the truth of sentences like those found in Daniel 7:13:

In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

Her baby boy is the ruler of all creation, and one day her baby boy will make all things right. Mary’s hope as a mother is that experiencing Christ wrapped in the glory of the true King will “Wipe every tear from [her eyes]” (Revelation 21:4). At which time, not only will her pain be forgotten, but no mother will have a reason to cry ever again. Of course, it’s one thing to know that these sentences in Daniel 7:13 are true, and will be fulfilled, and another to experience their fulfillment.

I reflect on an analogy from my life to help grasp the distinction between knowledge of sentences and knowledge of experiences. If you had asked me on my wedding day what it would be like to watch my future wife walk down the aisle, I would have probably responded with something like, “All I know is that it’s going to be awesome.” While I was right — it was awesome — I can also tell you that I couldn’t have known ahead of time why I was right.

How could I have known? How could I have known what it would be like to see the woman I would spend the rest of my life with, beautifully dressed all in white, expectantly gaze at me, as she walked slowly towards me, jubilant father by her side, while Jeremiah Clark’s Prince of Denmark's March danced majestically from the full pipe organ partially hidden within the walls of Trinity Church? As far as I was concerned, at that moment, all creation — all creatures, all the earth, the planets, distant stars — had graciously stopped moving to not disturb the ceremony. How could I have known what this would be like? To ask that of me would be like asking a blind man to describe the horizon as it sits between the desert and an empty blue sky.

My reflections conclude. Mary knew the truth of who her son was, but Mary couldn’t have known what it would be like to birth him, to raise him, to lose him to the cross, and to receive him again on the third day. I’m moved to ask: do I know what it’s like to receive Jesus as my Savior, my Mentor, and my King, or is my knowledge of Jesus limited to knowing only sentences about him? I pray that you, the reader, and I can each be filled with both.

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