• Mike Woods

Mary Did You Know?

Updated: Jan 31, 2019

Written in 1991 the song, Mary Did You Know, has become a modern Christmas classic. In it the singer repeatedly asks Mary if she could have anticipated all that would come to pass after being visited by an angel and giving birth to Jesus.

Mainstream media is just catching on to the state of the American church. We are beginning to read reports of how tired the church is. Once proud congregations are tired and traditions are ending because they are just too much work for an aging membership.

There’s a queasiness being reported too. There’s a sense that the world has changed right out from under our feet and congregations don’t know what to do about it. Attendance patterns have become less predictable and smaller. What is it all leading to?

Well, anxiety for one thing, according to reports. Whatever is coming it seems uncertain as to what it will all look like or how congregations will fund it. Churches wonder, do we have the gifts and abilities to face our new future?

Mary knows.

Mary knows about the tiredness, the queasiness, the anxiousness. Mary knows that these are the symptoms that accompany one who is pregnant – one who is getting ready to bear God to the world. Could it be that the worry over all the changing social patterns of our time are just morning sickness that congregations are feeling?

The Bible of chock full of stories of new beginnings and new ways come with a mix of excitement and anxiousness. Some may counter, “Our congregation is too old. We do not have children to keep our church going.” That sounds like Abraham and Sarah in their 90’s just before Isaac was born or Zechariah and Elizabeth who were well past expecting children just before their son John was born who came to prepare the way for Jesus.

Oh Mary knows! She knows that with the birth of her firstborn people will come to talk about the holy stuff that happens when they are not at church (the shepherds). Mary knows the kindness of foreigners as magi gift her family. Mary knows the life-giving importance of a welcome when she and Joseph and their baby soon become refugees.

Mary most surely knows.

Pastor Mike Woods

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