I attended our choir's Christmas program the other night. It was beautiful, as always, and the musicians just completely outdid themselves. This year it was a bit different.... it featured more of the entire story of the gospel rather than just focusing on Christ's birth. My 20 year-old son played the resurrected Jesus.
That actually freaked me out a bit. For several years I was "Mary" in the Christmas program - until I became too old to be believable as Mary and passed on my sandals to someone else. I've always sort of identified with Mary though - not in terms of her "holiness" but more in terms of her humanity. I know there are many in the Christian faith who have very strong feelings and opinions about Mary and her role as the mother of God. Some go as far as to say she was sinless. I prefer to see her as very, very human, a mother who struggled with the same kinds of things all of us mothers struggle with. Certianly she was special ... chosen by God to parent His Son, but she was in all other respects a regular human girl. I like that about Mary.
But as I was saying, for several years I played her at Christmastime. Perhaps that is why it was a little unsetteling to me to see my own son as the adult Jesus. There are times when I look at my son and think "who are you??" My son is a lot like me in many respects but he is also very different as well ... and there are times when I wonder if I had anything at all to do with raising him. I mean that in all the best ways. Sometimes it baffles my mind to think that he is the amazing young man that he has become becuase I am so very aware of all of my mistakes in raising him. That made me wonder though ... if Mary ever looked at her adult son, Jesus and wondered "who are you?"
I'm sure that Mary above all others knew who He was. She more than anyone else was aware that she had concieved as a virgin. She knew that He was indeed the Son of God. Yet in the shuffle of daily life it is easy to "forget" the things we know to be true. I imagine that there were times when she was jolted back to the knowledge of just who Jesus really was.... when she was forced to pause admist the hussle of her daily responsibilities to wonder again at Jesus' deity and to marvel at how her own story fit into His story.
I know that is what I will be pondering on this Christmas season.