Coming into Advent, one of the first songs I chose to play was the newer song that is becoming a classic- "Mary, Did You Know?" It's gratifying that some of you shared it's a favorite of yours, also. But as we (seemingly) zip through the advent scripture readings, there are some things we need to stop and consider.
Quirinius was governor of Syria about AD 3 or 4. What a time that must have been for young Mary. She was engaged to be married to a businessman in town. Her family probably thought it was a good match, and that Joseph would provide a solid living for the young couple. They were a good temple-going family. Mary was a good daughter, helped her mother prepare for each Sabbath, and humbly prayed that Messiah would come. Our hymnal, #143, "For Ages Women Hoped and Prayed" gives a very telling narrative of this.
Then the Angel appeared to Mary. The first chapter of Luke says she was 'greatly troubled' at his greeting, but by the time he leaves, she calmly answers "I am the Lord's servant. May it happen to me as you have said."
The angel had reminded her, in Luke 1:37, there is nothing God cannot do.
Mary had also descended from the line of King David. I think she had learned the family trait of considering the scripture, and encouraging herself in the Lord. By the time she goes to visit her cousin Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist, Mary has a song of praise to share. And it's not just how the Lord is good to her, but how the Lord keeps His word to His people, and lifts up the humble. She had been looking back in the Scripture, and was reminded how the Lord promised a Savior in the book of Genesis, and brought down the proud, like the Pharoah of Egypt, or Haman in Babylon. She mentioned Abraham, who said the Lord would provide Himself a lamb.
Later in Luke, it says Mary remembered these things and thought deeply about them. Mary knew how to look at scripture meditate on it. Then she knew how to voice her praise to the Lord, for what He had done, what He was doing, and what He was going to do!
Each week as we enter the Sanctuary, we should be ready to voice our Praise to the Lord for what He has done, what He IS doing, and what He is going to do!