There is a Christmas song Iíve heard a few times this Christmas season entitled ďMary Did You Know?Ē It asks Mary, the Mother of Jesus if she knew who her Son was and what his life meant to the world and to her. This song got me thinking about parents, mostly myself, and how much we know about our children, the people they become and the people they will affect.
Granted most of us if not all of us will not be the parents of the next Jesus, but we are parents of someone made in Godís image. If you look closely in your childís eyes you can see God. You could be holding the next John the Baptist, or Gandhi. , or the nice person with the kind words and the warm blanket helping in the neighborhood soup kitchen.
As this childís parent, youíll experience many of the same pains and the same joys that Mary experienced. We canít stop their trials and as parents we will feel every little nail in their path just as Mary felt every hammer blow as they nailed her son to the cross. We will share their every joy as Mary felt the joy when her son rose from the dead.
Mary is the model of parenting. She knew what her son was destined to be and yet she did nothing to stop it, in fact she did everything she could to ensure he was on Godís path. She risked shame and humiliation to do Godís work and give birth to his son. Then she watched as her son was persecuted by the people he was sent to save.
Like Mary we canít stop our childrenís trials. We must watch as they stumble and fall on the path and trust that God will lift them up to continue on their paths. As parents we must have faith that God will care for our children. God will gird our children in the armor of faith and carry them through their trials. Mary placed herself and her son in Godís loving hands. She knew that she had to let her son do Godís work. The gift that God had given her she had to return to God as a gift of thanks and praise.
God has given us an awesome responsibility with his gift, but with Godís help we are up to the task. We will feel Maryís pain and we will feel her joy and like her we must never lose our faith. Because of her faith, Mary, kissed the face of God and because of Mary, as parents we also kiss the face of God each time we kiss our child. Every time we hold them in our arms or wipe their tears away, we are doing it for God. Our children are ours for only a short time, yet they are Godís forever. As Mary so lovingly did, so must we by returning our gifts of children to God as gifts of love and praise.
Our children are made in the image of God as Jesus was. God knew Jesusí destiny and knows the destiny of each of our children. We should raise them as Godís children, just as Mary raised Jesus as Godís child. Then we have given and received the ultimate Christmas gift, Godís Children.