The sermon series at my church for the Advent season is on Encountering God. Each week Pr. Dave is sharing about how different people encountered God as part of the Christmas story. Yesterday we heard about how Mary encountered God, with a focus on the visit by the angel Gabriel to announce to her that she would become pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit and give birth to the Son of God. (Luke 1:26-38 (NIV)).
We learned three things about encountering God from Mary:
- It is important to listen when God speaks.
- It is important to ask questions to learn more about God.
- It is important to surrender to the will of God, even if it takes us out of our comfort zone.
During the service we sang two of the songs that I had planned to write about for Music Mondays in December, and also heard another that is about Mary that I had forgotten about, but is another favorite. Since I was having a hard time narrowing my favorite Christmas songs down to the number of Mondays in December anyway, I decided I would share all three of these songs that include Mary for my post today.
The first song is called “Mary Did You Know?” This song always brings tears of joy to my eyes, and yesterday when we sang it was no exception. I actually had a hard time singing it out loud. Thankfully with the whole congregation singing no one could tell.
This version is by Kutless, a Christian rock band.
I have two favorite lines in this song:
- “And when you kiss your little baby / You’ve kissed the face of God”
- “And the sleeping Child you’re holding / Is the great I Am”
I believe Mary did know these things because she believed the message God sent her by the angel Gabriel. The real question is, do we know? Do we really comprehend that this One who was born in the manger is the Creator of all?
The second song I want to share is called “What Child Is This?” In church we heard it as a beautiful guitar instrumental during Communion.
This video is one of my favorite versions by Third Day:
The timing of this song in our service was perfect because it includes a verse – my favorite – about what lies ahead for this Holy Child. And what lies ahead is the basis for our partaking of His body and blood. The second verse says:
Nails and spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
The third song I want to share is called “Breath of Heaven.” We were blessed in church to hear it sung by two teenage girls in our congregation who sound beautiful singing together. I was glad I didn’t have to try to sing along with this one because it brought tears to my eyes, too.
This beautiful song by Amy Grant really puts us in the shoes of Mary. Even though she knew who she carried in her womb, this must have been a very difficult time for a young girl from Nazareth. But she trusted in God to see her through.
I hope these beautiful songs have helped you to experience Christ through the perspective of Mary, one who knew Him better than anyone on earth and was still in awe of Him.