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Mary Tells Her Story (Monologue)

By Ruth Wood

I am an old woman now, and how I cherish my memories. Oh, what an honor it was to be the mother of my Savior! May the Lord be magnified forever!

God taught me early in life that nothing is impossible with Him! Gabriel said that I, a virgin, would be with child. And so it came to be.

But you already know about Gabriel, the shepherds and the wise men. Today let me tell you what it was like to be the mother of the Son of God.

When I think back to that stable and the thrill of his birth, I hear his first cries—they seemed so heartrending. In hindsight I wonder, “Were his tears a waking to the harsh reality of being away from his heavenly home?”

I loved holding him; he was so beautiful, my child of promise. In my heart I vowed to someday make him a special garment with no seams, one worthy of the Deliverer of Israel. I felt so blessed, so honored to be the mother of this baby.

Many have asked me what it was like raising Jesus. Actually he was an easy child to parent—loving and obedient and kind to everyone. But I did face an unusual challenge—it soon became apparent he was different from anyone I’d ever known. You see, he was perfect—and I was not! Sometimes when I spoke impatiently with the children, he’d look at me with those earnest brown eyes as if he could see deep into my soul. And though his look was never one of condemnation, but one of compassion, it would always break my heart.

Jesus didn’t begin his public ministry until he was thirty-three, but I couldn’t wait for him to be revealed to the whole world—I knew they’d love him as I did. He would be a strong, wise and compassionate leader, the greatest the world had ever known!

Imagine then, how I felt when Nazareth, our home town, rejected him. When Jesus read the scriptures and taught in the synagogue, the people were offended by some of the things he said even though he spoke only the truth. They drove him out of the village and would have killed him except that it was not God’s time.

I was devastated and deeply hurt. To have my home town, and people I thought were friends, turn on our family like that was unbelievably painful. The women gossiped behind my back for weeks. Only by talking to Jesus about everything and watching how he handled the rejection with grace, was I able to forgive and go on.

For me, Jesus’ ministry years were exciting and a whirlwind of miracles. I saw him heal the blind, the deaf, the lepers, witnessing repeatedly that nothing is impossible with God. But in spite of all the miracles, at times my faith was challenged.

One incident stands out in my mind. Jesus was casting out demons and furiously debating the Pharisees with such intensity one day, his brothers thought he’d gone crazy. They were so embarrassed by the spectacle, they tried to force him to come home. They didn’t believe in him either.

I badly wanted Jesus’ brothers and sisters to see that he was the Son of God, but for many years they thought I was a fanatical old woman because of my unrelenting faith. Sometimes they even accused me of favoritism.

Not only did challenges come from my family, sometimes I couldn’t understand my own son. Once he said, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, yes, even his own life…he cannot be my disciple.” Hate family? His siblings were supposed to hate me and follow him? Personally, this was a hard saying to accept, but later Jesus explained it better saying that love for family would look like hate in comparison to the commitment of discipleship.

As I dreamed of glory, imagining how Jesus as Messiah would someday rule Israel, I never realized that glory would first lead to a cross. No mother should have to watch her child murdered before her very eyes. From a distance I noticed soldiers casting lots for the garment I had made with such high hopes and dreams for my son. I kept thinking about Simeon’s prophecy, “And a sword will pierce your own soul.” Yes, even though behind the scenes God is orchestrating a wonderful work in your life, He will not hesitate to shatter your dreams or your heart for His greater purposes.

Nothing happened in my life how I thought it would. Can you relate to this? Yet today I testify, with a heart overflowing with joy, that God had a much greater plan than I could have imagined—and it was good, very good.

Not long after rumors about his resurrection, Jesus suddenly stood among us, a throng of 500 believers, my children and I among them. I couldn’t believe my eyes! He was alive! Laughing and crying I rushed to his side to hold him in my arms once again. My beloved Son, my Lord, and my Savior!

And because of God’s great love for all mankind, he is your Savior too! As you celebrate his birth this year, consider:

  • God’s glory may first lead to a cross.
  • God may need to shatter your dreams and your heart for His greater purposes.
  • Nothing, absolutely nothing, is impossible with God.

©2008 Ruth Wood. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Interesting Facts About the Christmas Story

  • Jewish maidens were eligible for marriage at age 12-1/2 years, and Mary may have been as young as 13 when she was betrothed to Joseph.
  • Betrothal was legally binding and could only be broken by divorce. During the following twelve months, couples didn’t live together and waited to consummate the marriage until after the wedding. However, it’s important to note that the man could claim his bride any time after betrothal.
  • Mary and Joseph most likely traveled to Bethlehem sometime between spring and autumn when shepherds kept their flocks in the fields.
  • They were poor and would not have been able to afford a donkey. Even so, the image of Mary on a donkey is a myth because the cultural taboo prohibited a woman to ride while the man walked.
  • The distance from Nazareth to Bethlehem was 90 miles, traveling a winding mountain trail through Samaritan hilly country, gaining an elevation of 1,321 feet. Commentators estimate that walking this road took more than a week.
  • Mary most likely gave birth in a shepherd’s cave. The cave under the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem has been shown from antiquity as the birthplace of Jesus.
  • A note on swaddling: Until recent times, Palestinian Arabs practiced the custom of rubbing salt, water and oil over a newborn’s entire body before wrapping him swaddling cloths. Every seven days they’d repeat the procedure until the baby was forty days old.
  • The Bible doesn’t say how many wise men came, but these visitors most likely stemmed from a priestly Persian and Babylonian caste. They could very well have been in possession of some Old Testament prophecies regarding Messiah acquired from Jewish exiles to Babylon in Daniel’s time. Their valuable gifts would have made the flight to Egypt financially possible.
  • The Bible lists Mary’s children as “James, Joses, Judas, Simon and several girls.”
  • Mary is last mentioned in Acts when she and the disciples are waiting for the Holy Spirit in the Jerusalem upper room. “They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.