Advent 2015: Day 20

 

Can it be only 5 days until Christmas?  Here is the next installment on this Advent series on “Parenting Jesus.”

 

Would you be embarrassed if your daughter were arrested for drunk driving? Would your face flame red if your son were arrested in a sex scandal? What if these events were plastered across the front page of the local newspaper or announced on the nightly news? Would you want to crawl in a hole and cover your head and die?

 

Everywhere Jesus went, everything he said, every miracle he performed reflected back on his parents. But have you also considered how every confrontation he had with scribes and Pharisees also reverberated in the life of his mother? People talked about him and surely Mary heard the gossip. After being rejected by the people in his hometown of Nazareth, Jesus left and moved from town to town, but Mary stayed behind in Nazareth. Day after day, she faced those townspeople who had wanted to throw her son over a cliff to his death. She had seen the fury in their eyes that day. After Jesus was gone, she saw her neighbors when she walked to market. She spoke with them in the streets of Nazareth. She met them in the synagogue each Sabbath. Being the mother of Jesus was not easy.

 

Now, Mary faced something far worse: Her son, the one on whom she had set her hopes, was dying on a cross, accused of blasphemy. His disciples had all abandoned him. But Mary did not retreat into the background. Instead, in John 19:25, we find her right in the middle of the events surrounding her son’s crucifixion. We see her standing at the foot of the cross in plain view of all the mocking crowd. Was she confused? Did she wonder how all those ancient prophecies would ever be fulfilled? Setting aside her own feelings, Mary continued to believe in her son even after he was arrested and condemned. Jesus’ mother stayed near him and offered support.

 

As parents we may find ourselves being the only ones standing by our child when all others have turned away. Which member of your family needs your support today?

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