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What happened next? Mary the mother of Jesus 

Our celebrations of Christmas may be over but the story of our Lord’s arrival and life continue. As we enter the New Year John Rackley continues a series of meditations on what happened next to the characters in the Nativity stories of the gospels. This week it is Mary, his mother.

What happened next? The Shepherds
What happened next? Elizabeth


Mary quietly left the room and made her way to the wall of the city where she could see Olivet. She sat down carefully and lent against one of the great stones left by the builders. The pinnacle of the temple soared above her and she watched the birds launching themselves into the wind as it swirled up from the valley below. She could smell the desert – heavy with heat.
So she would see him no more. He spoke of a return but she did not think it would be tomorrow. Where had the years gone?
His birth on the street over in Bethlehem and that stinking manger. It didn’t get any better for them in weeks. How had he survived? How had she? But when they left Herod’s Judaea things got better.
The early years in Nazareth were so good. Now they seemed a taste of heaven compared to what he had put her through when he left home.

That old man was right about her son he really did bring the best and worst out in people. So many misunderstood him, even the people he grew up with. The first years of admiration were soon forgotten. He was a prophet but not in Nazareth.
There was the time they thought he was deranged even possessed and summoned the family to take him into their care.

But that didn’t last long. He was a healer. He was a traveller. He wouldn’t be told. She could have told them that – look what happened when they took him to Jerusalem as a 12 year old.
Mary stretched her neck to look up at the sky. It was slowly darkening and the first glow of the setting sun was lighting up the white rock of Olivet. It reminded her of fire and blood. The fire of betrayal and the smell of his blood as it tripped from his crucified body.
She pulled her cloak over her head and gradually the prayer would come. It was the prayer she had offered all these years.
Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.
But now she added:

Lord, I have treasured all that has happened and now it is too heavy for me. I can carry it no longer.
Now he has gone from my sight. Who will carry it for me?

For Mary knew what it meant to be overshadowed by the Holy Spirit and now his disciples were to receive the same gift. The gift was costly.

It was a time for handing his memory over to them. She hoped they would care for her child as much as she had.
The sound of sandals scrunching the stones on the path startled her. She was relieved to see it was the disciple Jesus had blessed with a special love; He helped her up. Together they went to his place.
It was the night before Pentecost.

Picture: Statue of Mary/FreeImages.com

John writes about this meditation and adds some suggestions for further reflection and prayer in his blog: www.windingquest.wordpress.com and can be contacted on jcr49@hotmail.co.uk



Baptist Times, 05/01/2016
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