Fourth Sunday in Advent
December 21, 2014
“Mary, What DID You Know?” (Luke 1:26-38)
Every year several of the radio stations in St. Louis start playing nothing but Christmas music. I think they start sometime around mid-August, but that’s beside the point. They play Christmas music, and a few of the songs even have something to do with the birth of Christ. Yes, it’s true! And one of the most popular of these songs is a song called, “Mary, Did You Know?” You’ve probably heard it, I’m guessing. The idea of the song is that someone is asking Mary, the mother of our Lord, if she knew what would become of her son. Did she know at the time of his birth what her son would do later on? And so a couple of the lines from the song go like this: “Mary, did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water?” “Mary, did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?” And so on. You get the idea. It’s not a bad song. It uses the poetic device of addressing Mary and asking her about her baby, to highlight what the Christ child would go on to do–why he came, really.
But the song, as it stands, raises this question of what Mary actually did know at the time when Jesus was born. In other words: What did Mary know, and when did she know it? And that’s where our text for today comes in, the Holy Gospel from Luke chapter 1. This text tells us what Mary knew, even from the time it was announced to her that she would give birth to the Christ. And with that, we will be able to answer the song’s question–and find some answers for ourselves, as well–as we find out: “Mary, What DID You Know?”