jesus fish

December 24, 2008

mary speaks

Filed under: Christmas, New Testament — Tags: — Karen @ 5:08 am

But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. Luke 2:51b

Ever wonder how Luke got all this information about baby Jesus? Luke wasn’t present during the events of chapters 1 and 2. As far as we know, Luke didn’t even come into contact with Jesus during his lifetime. As a good, Bible thumping evangelical, I don’t accept the idea that Luke just made it all up.

The book of Luke is the only Gospel that has this level of detail about Jesus’ early years. Luke records words and events that only a family member would know. Things that only Mary would know.

The first 2 chapters of Luke are Mary’s account of Jesus’ birth and childhood. She remembered in vivid detail the strange events that took place – an elderly cousin gives birth, a relative is struck mute, and a teenager is unexplainably pregnant. Strange events indeed.

Most of the familiar elements of the Christmas story come from the book of Luke. Matthew tells us about the mysterious wisemen from the East but everything else appears in Luke 1 and 2. There was “no room for them in the inn” – who would know that? Only Mary and Joseph. When shepherds come into town, still shaken from the bizarre vision that appeared in the night sky “Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart”. And, of course, there is Mary’s Magnificat in Luke 1.

I love the account of Jesus as a boy in the temple in Luke 2:41-50. It has the quality of a story that was repeated many times at family gatherings. “Remember the time when mom and dad left Jesus in town? Can’t believe that they did that”. Who would remember that Jesus was exactly twelve years old? His mother.

When I read the first chapters of Luke, I hear the story in an old woman’s voice. She recalls things that happened so long ago but are still clear in her mind. Her words are sometimes hoarse and uncertain as she recites the sequence of events. There is laughter as she remembers and maybe tears as she thinks back on what was and what is.

It is Mary’s story, too.

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