Since becoming totally immersed into grand-parenting, I have wondered about a character from Bible days who is not mentioned, or named. Neither is there any limelight or recognition of a life lived with fanfare. No books embellished with her grand-parenting skills. But this woman has grown in great respect in my mind. I wonder what she was like. Did she beam with pride when she learned her daughter had been chosen to carry the Messiah in her womb? Did she beam with pride knowing she would be the Lord of the Universe’s grandmother? Did she beam with pride that the King of King’s would sit at her table? Or, did she feel the sting of friends and family turning their backs? Did she feel the weight of gossiping lips that targeted her pregnant unwed daughter? Did she feel the ostracism of those who failed to believe? Did she herself struggle to believe? I often wonder how she received the news that her daughter was expecting a child but had not known a man in that way.
As a mother with adult children, stresses have grown immensely from when we battled sibling rivalry or getting to school before the bell rang. Now the concerns have multiplied with each adding a spouse, their lengthy commutes to work, finding a place to stay when traveling (alone) through the night from state to state, and most assuredly when the grandson is unable to make it through the birth canal and it takes a C-section. I find myself wondering how Mary’s mother dealt with waving goodbye as her young daughter loaded up on a donkey, and her new husband at the reins. How did Mary’s mother deal with her daughter leaving on such a demanding journey while being “great with child?” Where would Mary place her head for the night? If she delivered while on this excursion, how would her delivery go? If you were the grandmother of Jesus would you have wanted to be present at His birth?
But for sure the most important aspect of all this is what she previously instilled in Mary’s life. A meek and humble servant-attitude was Mary’s character, was this a reflection of her mother’s? Mary’s blameless character made her ripe to become the mother of the son of God. I admire the woman whose daughter was chosen to be the mother of Jesus. A character which stood out so much that God blessed her with the greatest honor for which any Jewish girl longed. Perhaps her mother modeled it for her. Who was this woman, the grandmother of Jesus?
A text (not from an iPhone) from an apocryphal literature begins with Mary’s parents, Joachim and Anna, and of their blameless life. It is believed her parents were Joachim (of Nazareth) and Anna (of Bethlehem). However, the only member of Mary’s family mentioned in Scripture is her sister (Jn. 19:25), who is possibly James & John’s mom, Salome (Mk. 15:40; Matt. 27:56). – Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible
“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord: let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). In whatever you are facing right now, can you say that to the Lord? Can you pass on a heritage of humility and abasement to the next generation?
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from a Christmas Grandmother!