Pastoral Perspectives

Did You Know?

“Mummy, were you happy when I was born?”
“Did you know that I would grow up like this?”
“Are you happy that I am your child?”
“Did you imagine that we would be talking like this today?”
“What was it like to have your own child?”

“Mummy, am I adopted?”

These are the questions my children often ask me. My children are not alone in asking these kinds of questions. If you are a parent, I am sure your child/children would have asked you too- some more than others. We might give standard answers because our children are the same in many aspects.  

What if the child was special? What would it be like to raise that special child? That was the question that prompted the song-writer, comedian, and singer Mark Lowry to pen the words of the now much-loved Christmas song Mary Did You Know?

According to an interview, Mark was asked by his pastor to write a program for Christmas in 1984. As he wrote the speaking parts, he started thinking about Mary. He said, “I have always been fascinated with the concept that God came to earth.” He remembers his conversation with his mother who said, “If anyone on earth knew for sure that Jesus was virgin born- Mary knew!” That profound statement stuck with Mark who added, “One thing they couldn’t take from Mary was that she knew her child was not ordinary.”

Mark explains how the song came into existence. “As my mind went back to the manger scene, I began to think about the power, authority and majesty she cradled in her arms. Those little lips were the same lips that had spoken worlds into existence. All of those things were contained in the young child lying quietly on her bosom. Even now, he was the very one who had given life his mother, Mary. I began writing the list of questions I would like to ask Mary if I could sit down with her – questions such as, “Mary, do you know who is in your arms?”

Mary, Did You Know?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy
Has come to make you new?

This child that you delivered, will soon deliver you.

Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would give sight to a blind man?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would calm the storm with his hand?

Did you know that your baby boy
Has walked where angels trod?
When you kiss your little baby
Then you kissed the face of God.

The blind will see, the deaf will hear
The dead will live again
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak
The praises of the Lamb.

Mary, did you know that your baby boy

Is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy
Is heaven’s perfect Lamb?

This sleeping child you’re holding,
Is the great, the great “I Am!”

Seven years after the lyrics were written, Mark gave the lyrics to his friend, Buddy Green a composer who later said, “Mark handed me his lyrics, and I held on to them for about two weeks. One day I pulled them out and looked at them. They seemed to suggest a minor key approach to writing an accompaniment. I completed the musical setting in about 30 minutes. I called Mark at his home in Georgia and on the phone played and sang the song to him. He was ecstatic and liked it.” When Gloria Gaither pointed out in an interview that the correct English was “Mary, Do you know?” he responded “Well, my way sings better!”

This year has been an eventful and a memorable year. As our singing went online, preparation and recording for today’s Lessons and Carols started as early as September. As I sang this song, I also wondered with the writer of the song how much Mary knew and what went through her mind as the child grew, fulfilled the words of the angel and was finally crucified.

Last week, we heard how the lowly shepherds heard the message of joy and could not contain it. But Mary pondered all these things in her heart. Today we have the privilege of having God’s word with us and hearing it time and again. This year, we have preached through the letter of Paul to the Colossians and we are reminded who this sleeping child is as found in Colossians 1:15-20

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

Each Christmas is a reminder of what God has done for us by sending His only begotten Son to save us. Every year we hear the story time and again. We do not know how much Mary knew and what she thought about it but what about us? Do we know that…

He came to save our sons and daughters

He came to make us new
He came to deliver us
He came to calm the storms
He came to so that the blind will see, the deaf will hear
He came so that the dead will live again
He came so that the lame will leap, the dumb will speak His praises
He is Lord of all creation
He will rule the nations
He is heaven’s perfect Lamb
He is the great “I AM”?

If we do, we will be filled with joy and we will sing the praises of the Lamb! We will go and tell it on the mountains and everywhere that Jesus Christ is born for us!

Have a Blessed Christmas everyone.

Pr Loliro Sani

December 20, 2020