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MARY MOTHER OF JESUS


A capable journalist-author named Jim Bishop wrote a fairly reliable analysis of Jesus’ birth in his book, The Day Christ Was Born. His description of Mary, the young mother-to-be, bears repeating:


She no longer noticed the chafe of the goatskin against her

leg, nor the sway of the food bag on the other side of the

animal. Her veiled head hung and she saw millions of pebbles

on the road moving by her brown eyes in a blur, pausing, and

moving by again with each step of the animal.

Sometimes she felt ill at ease and fatigued, but she swallowed

this feeling and concentrated on what a beautiful baby she was

about to have and kept thinking about it, the bathing, the

oils, the feeding, the tender pressing of the tiny body

against her breast -- and the sickness went away. Sometimes she

murmured the ancient prayers and, for the moment, there was no

road and no pebbles and she dwelt on the wonder of God and saw

Him in a fleecy cloud at a windowless wall of an inn or a

hummock of trees, walking backward in front of her husband,

beckoning him on. God was everywhere. It gave Mary

confidence to know that He was everywhere. She needed

confidence. Mary was fifteen.

Most young ladies of the country were betrothed at thirteen

and married at fourteen. A few were not joined in holiness

until fifteen or sixteen and these seldom found a choice man

and were content to be shepherds’ wives, living in caves in

the sides of the hills, raising their children in loneliness,

knowing only the great stars of the night lifting over hills,

and the whistle of the shepherd as he turned to lead his

flock to a new pasture. Mary had married a carpenter. He had

been apprenticed by his father at bar mitzvah. Now he was

nineteen and had his own business.


SOURCE: From Growing Deep in the Christian Life, p. 125.

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