Summary: Communion Meditation for December 30, 2007
(Slide 1) I begin this morning with the reading of several passages out of the books of Luke and John and as I do so, I invite you to find a common link to the passages:
First Luke 2:15 – 19
‘When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Come on, let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this wonderful thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” They ran to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. Then the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary quietly treasured these things in her heart and thought about them often.’
Now Luke 2:41 – 51
‘Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover festival. When Jesus was twelve years old, they attended the festival as usual. After the celebration was over, they started home to Nazareth, but Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents didn’t miss him at first, because they assumed he was with friends among the other travelers. But when he didn’t show up that evening, they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. When they couldn’t find him, they went back to Jerusalem to search for him there.
Three days later they finally discovered him. He was in the Temple, sitting among the religious teachers, discussing deep questions with them. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.
His parents didn’t know what to think. “Son!” his mother said to him. “Why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been frantic, searching for you everywhere.”
“But why did you need to search?” he asked. “You should have known that I would be in my Father’s house.”
But they didn’t understand what he meant. Then he returned to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them; and his mother stored all these things in her heart.’
Now our main text for this morning, John 19:25 – 27
‘Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, “Woman, he is your son.” And he said to this disciple, “She is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home.’
What is the common link? The common link that I want to point out is that Mary, the mother of Jesus, is featured in each of the accounts just read.
An increasingly popular Christmas song these days, at least in church circles, is ‘Mary Don’t You Know?’ It is a song that asks a series of questions to Mary about her newborn son, Jesus, who He is, what He will do and what will happen to Him.
Mary, don’t you know these things? As we reflect on the texts that have just been read, we are told that both at Jesus’ birth and then as He became of age in a dramatic and even scary way, these events became a part of the ‘treasured memories’ which all mothers have of their children.
You know what I am talking about, right? They are the stories that all mothers have, and publicly share when you sometimes wish they wouldn’t. But they are treasured memories and no matter if they are embarrassing or not, moms have a right to tell them. (Oh, yeah, dads have such stories as well and we like to tell them, too.)
I think that one of my mom’s treasured stories is a July date, I cannot remember the date but she can, on which the first church I served voted me in as their first full-time youth minister. That is a treasured memory for her. It was an important day for me, but not in the way it is for her.
Mary had her own treasured memories of Jesus and His life and as moms here can attest, they serve an important role as good reminders of a deep bond as life moves forward and their relationship with their children changes. The gospel writers remind us of this importance as we have read.
Little is known about Mary other than what we read in the Biblical accounts. In addition to what we have read already, John in his gospel account notes that she was present at the wedding in Cana where Jesus performed the miracle of changing the water into wine as we read in John 2:
‘The next day Jesus’ mother was a guest at a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus’ mother spoke to him about the problem. “They have no more wine,” she told him.