Two of my favorite songs of the Christmas season are “Do You Hear What I Hear?” and “Mary Did You Know?” They always remind me of the different meanings Christmas has for me and many people.
For some people Christmas means traveling to different places to be with family or decorating their homes inside and out with the various sights and sounds of the season.
For many people, the carols and the hustle and bustle of shoppers put them in the Christmas spirit. The sounds of cash registers clicking puts merchants in a festive spirit while other people bemoan the fact that they can neither find nor afford the expensive request on the lists children make.
For me, I anticipate the sounds of Christmas when the concerts and hymns are so familiar. The secular songs of Christmas like Frosty and Rudolph charm children and of course when “Here Comes Santa Claus” plays, children of all ages hum along. Others look forward to the programs in theaters and churches that remind them that Christmas is coming soon.
Then I return to songs that I have learned to treasure over the years. Mark Lowery sang the song “Mary Did You Know?” and I begin to remember the words. He asks the questions we all want to know and should ask at one time or another in our lives, “Mary did you know that your baby boy would one day walk on water? When you kiss your little baby, you kiss the face of God?”
The words of this song bring to my mind the other questions and the stories of the Christ child who was born in a stable and was visited by the Three Wisemen. The story of Christmas meant that Mary and Joseph had to walk about 70 miles from their home to pay taxes and angels would appear on the hills above Bethlehem.
But then the questions continue. Why did Joseph take Mary with him? Why not leave her at home with his folks until he returned? Why would he think she needed to make such a long trip in her condition? The trip would be about 70 miles and they had no reservations along the way. Do you not wonder?
Neither the songs nor the story of Christmas ends with the telling of the child. The facts are scant about the child until he visits the temple with his parents at about age 12 and he tells them he must be about his father’s business. And the questions continue. Mary, did you know that one day your baby boy would cure the deaf, the blind, and the lame? Did you know he would speak to large crowds and have people follow his teachings 2000 years later?
When studying the aspects of the Christmas story, we must accept the knowledge that Christ’s life and his travels were also written in books other than the Bible.
Check it out! The story as it has come down through the generations has not changed. The angels, shepherds, and the Wisemen still dominate even the commercial aspects of Christmas. Did Mary know she was fulfilling a prophecy?