A Mother’s Perspective (Mary’s Story)

Feel free to use this monologue short of re-publishing it under your own name. If you would give credit we would appreciate it. Most of all, I would love to hear from you as to how you used these words and what kind of response you received.

A Mother’s Perspective

(A Monologue by Rev. Bruce Goettsche)

(Humbly) Thank-you for this opportunity to talk with you. God has been so good and gracious to me. Through the years I have occupied much too prominent position in the Christmas story. I consider myself to have been a fortunate servant of our Lord. I did, what I hope anyone would have done in my situation.

You have heard of my story already from others involved in the events related to the birth of my Son, Jesus. I will not repeat those things for you. Instead I want to tell you my story, tell you what I was thinking and how I felt.

Joseph has told you of his love for me (NOTE: Joseph Monologue). That love was mutual. He was a good and godly man. I regret that he did not live longer to see our Son as he ministered to the masses.

Our engagement had been set when the Angel Gabriel appeared to me. When He appeared, I was frightened and confused. If an angel appeared to you and said, “Congratulations! You are favored by God! The Lord is with you!” Wouldn’t you be a little bewildered too? You might think you had finally won a contest, but for me it was as if I had walked in on the middle of a conversation. What was being said made no sense to me. I began to be terrified.

The angel continued, “Don’t be afraid, God is going to bless you greatly, soon you will become pregnant and you are going to give birth to a baby boy, and you are to name Him Jesus. He shall be great and will be called the Son of the Highest and He will reign on the throne of his father David and of His kingdom there will be no end.

I’m no sure what thought came to my mind first, “huh?” or “wow!”. It certainly seemed an odd message at the time. I asked, “How is this possible, I am a virgin?” Mind you, I wasn’t doubting at this point, I just wanted to understand better.

The angel replied that the baby would come from the Holy Spirit and the son born to me would be the child of God. Then the angel related to me the news of the pregnancy of Elizabeth, my relative. The angel responded with these powerful words: “Nothing is impossible for God.”

There was a great deal to absorb. On the one hand I wanted to turn and run, on the other, this was a test of my faith. I didn’t know quite what to say so I simply said, “O.K., I’ll do whatever you ask and may what you said come true in my life.”

(Softly, motherly) Now many of you find that strange I’m sure. In fact, that’s one of the things that bother me about life in your day. You seem to view the commands of the Lord as burdensome. Your first question to me perhaps would be: “Didn’t you think about the risks? ” Why should I worry about risks? What risk is there when you trust the Lord? It seems to me the risk comes in when you ignore His commands. You seem to think that you are making great sacrifices when you serve the Lord. Almost as if He should be honored that you took time to acknowledge Him. That was not the way I saw things. In my mind there was no greater privilege or honor than to serve the Lord. To be specially chosen by Him did not require a lot of study or talk, it didn’t call for “weighing options” and all the things you do to stall commitment. To be specially chosen was the greatest honor and should be accepted with humility and joy as a special act of grace toward you. When God calls us to do something we should be glad He calls us at all. I would freely give my body to be burned if He asked it of me.

I’m getting away from my story. I went off to see Elizabeth. It seemed she was a played in this drama as well. When I arrived in Jerusalem I found Elizabeth to be pregnant just as I was told. Zechariah, her husband was unable to speak for some reason. (I later learned it was because of his disbelief when the angel told him Elizabeth would have a child in her old age) Elizabeth greeted me with surprising words. She told me as soon as I arrived, her baby jumped for joy. And she, a woman much older than I, spoke of me as the mother of her Lord.

These were startling words which flooded my heart with joy. What a moving thought: “I, the mother of the Messiah.” I could picture my Son powerfully removing those who occupied Israel. I could see Him bringing us back to the glory days of David. How exciting it all was.

The hardest times were yet ahead of me, though. First, I had to tell Joseph. He was understandably upset. But, Joseph is a good man and when he heard from the Lord, He too saw it as a privilege to do the Lord’s will. Second, there was the pregnancy itself. I guess I hadn’t thought about how cruel people would be. It’s hard to have people call you a harlot. I didn’t like the gossip. I didn’t appreciate the cold shoulder most of the people gave me. I learned who my real friends were. I am so glad I had Joseph. Together we were able to remain faithful to our God.

The time of Jesus’ birth was hard. The trip to Bethlehem was long. And it is not exactly a mother’s dream to bring her first child into the world in a stable. But the night was majestic in other ways; We had our new baby and it seemed as if the world stood still as we held him. And then there was the visit of the Shepherds, and their remarkable story. I tried to remember every detail even as I wondered what this child would become.

When Simeon told me in the temple at my time of purification that a sword would pierce my heart, I felt a lump come to my throat. I didn’t know what it meant but I had a sinking feeling that my Son’s life would not be what I hoped it would be. I had visions of Him being crowned King. Little did I know (pause . . . emotionally) that His crown would be made out of thorns.

(Regaining composure) You know, for the most part our family was pretty normal. Joseph and I had several more children . . . but none were like Jesus. My dear Joseph died before Jesus ever reached adulthood. Joseph’s death brought great sadness to our boy.

I am so proud of my Son. From the moment He was baptized by his cousin John to the day He ascended to Heaven, I was proud of Him. I watched as He and the disciples (two of them were my sister Salome’s boys, you know, James and John)(1) ministered to the people. My, what things happened. When He taught, people listened. When He was with people, illnesses were healed, hearts were changed.

I could see the people loved Him. Even though He was always busy and I didn’t get to see Him near as much as I wanted to . . . I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

When He began to speak about being handed over to death I thought He was mistaken. The angel had told me His kingdom would never end. It didn’t make sense to me. I had no idea that the Kingdom talked about wa a spiritual Kingdom.

Have you ever had to watch your child die? I hope not. It is an excruciating experience. There is something painfully wrong with seeing your baby, the child who was a part of you, robbed of a complete life. Children are not supposed to die before their parents. It doesn’t matter at what age that child dies, 2 year old or 62 years old, children should outlive their parents. I would have traded places with my Son in a minute if it meant His life would be spared.

Up until the end I thought something would spare Him. The angle told me that nothing was impossible for God. I waited to see what god would do.

The words of Simeon came back to me as I watched them torture my Son. “A sword would pierce your heart” he said. That’s exactly what it felt like. A part of me died on that cross with Him. It was the craziest thing. . . He came to reach them, He was God’s messenger, and they crucified Him. I know now why – it was the only way to satisfy God’s justice. It was the only way to pay the price for my sinfulness . . . and yours. I know this now, but I didn’t then. At that time I felt like all of life had been sucked out of me. Confusion flooded my soul.

Some say the greatest day of my life was when I gave birth to the Savior. (With a smile) No, the greatest day of my life was when I saw my Son, risen from the dead. Indeed . . . nothing is impossible for God. When I saw my Lord, we hugged, long and quiet. We wept quietly for joy. It was a special moment. Not much was said, words were unnecessary. I could sense He felt for the pain I had suffered. It was all forgotten at that moment, that wonderful moment.

Whenever I am faced with an impossible task, or an impossible person; when I am on the verge of giving up, I remember that day. I remember the promise . . . “Nothing is impossible with God.” Nothing!

I suspect you face impossible situations too. It may be at work, or at school, or at home. It may be physical, emotional, or spiritual, but the principle applies. God can be trusted. The path is sometimes different than we expect, but He always does what He has promised.

I don’t know what your struggle relates to: a marriage problem, financial turmoil, loneliness, persecution, fear of the future. All I know is that life doesn’t get much harder than having to watch your son be tortured (murdered) as an innocent man. God is faithful! His guidance is what you need.

Some ask: Would I do it all again? (Softly) You bet. Whatever my Lord asks I will do. That is the only way to know joy. It’s not found in “asserting our rights”, “exercising our power”, “pulling our own strings”. That’s the problem today, people are so wrapped up in themselves that they have lost that willingness to let God be in charge. I think that’s a mistake.

My Son presents everyone with a crisis. He calls us to an “all or nothing” kind of faith. We either trust Him fully or we have never really trusted Him at all. There is no middle ground. You can’t see yourself as King of your life, and proclaim Him King at the same time. It won’t work. Back in Nazareth when the angel first appeared to me, I faced that choice: was I willing to trust Him completely or would I turn away? I think I made the right choice. I pray you do too.

1. You have to do a little detective work here: Compare Mt. 27:56, Mark 15:40; John 19:25 and then look at Matt. 4:21-22.

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