Travel to America’s inland seas, where beacons of light illuminate paths to romance! Set between 1883 and 1911, seven historical novellas take you to the Great Lakes, where men and women battle the elements to keep the lighthouse lamps burning bright. Their sacrifice ensures sailors’ safety, but can they find an antidote to their loneliness? 446 pages, softcover from Barbour.
Most of us have heard the beloved song, popularized by multiple music artists worldwide. This song is one of my favorites every Christmas for the thought provoking lyrics. It means more to me each passing year as I watch my three sons grow older. This song challenges me to put myself in Mary’s place as I recall holding my newborn sons and gazing lovingly into their precious faces.
The songwriter asked a great question: did she know? I believe she knew she was part of God’s bigger plan, but I don’t believe she fully grasped the opportunity she would have. That’s the beauty of it. When the angel Gabriel appeared to deliver God’s message to Mary, she accepted on faith saying, “. . . be it unto me according to thy word.” She didn’t know what the future held, she only knew God was asking her to serve him, and she willingly obeyed. To think: her submission led to our salvation. Though she had no way of knowing how much pain the task would cost her, how her peers would ridicule her, and how her son would be rejected and murdered, she was willing to be used by God.
Whenever I consider this, it raises a question in me. Would I have been so obedient? I hope so. Gabriel called her blessed among women and said, “. . . thou hast found favour with God.” What a testimony she had! I could never be good enough for this task on my best day. Though Jesus, alone, is the only human worthy of worship, Mary is a great example of how we women should live our lives.
I love reading Luke’s account of Jesus’ birth: Luke 2:1-20. Verse 19 states that “. . . Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.” I bet her mind was reeling over the events that had just unfolded!
The story of Jesus’ birth resounds with music that has inspired composers for 2,000 years. That rings true for lyricist Mark Lowry (Christian comedian and former member of the Gaither Vocal Band), who wrote the song in 1984 when his pastor asked him to write a musical for their Nashville, Tennessee church to be performed that Christmas season. Lowry imagined what Mary might have been thinking while she held baby Jesus on that first Christmas, along with a series of questions he would ask Mary, given the chance. Actors recited Lowry’s questions for Mary between scenes of the musical that year, but afterward he sensed they should become lyrics to a song. He and harmonica player Buddy Greene wrote the music for “Mary, Did You Know?” using Lowry’s lyrics:
Mary did you know that your baby boy would someday walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you delivered, will soon deliver you.
Mary did you know that your baby boy would give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy would calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little baby, you’ve kissed the face of God.
The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the dead will live again.
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the Lamb.
Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you’re holding is the great I am.
This song sure puts things in a new perspective for me. Though it’s easy to get wrapped up in the seasonal festivities, shopping sales, and overall materialism of Christmas– let’s not forget the true reason for the season!