Devotion: Mother’s Day
Please review the scripture from the weekend: Luke 2:26-38, 46-48
Parenthood is a whirlwind. Through recent personal experience, I can say that no matter how much you read, buy and plan, you’re never fully ready for how much having a baby changes every part of your life. And just as soon as you think you’ve got parenting figured out, a new phase comes along and you have to adapt and adjust all over again. But isn’t that true for all of life? We never know what changes, obstacles and blessings will be thrown our way, but we have to deal with them anyway. Parenting is just a concentrated blast of the messiness, joy and heartbreak of life in one little human. I’ve always found Mary to be an inspiring figure, but now that I’m a parent, I’m even more in awe of her motherly love and what it can teach us about embracing the mystery and unpredictability of the Divine in our lives.
When Mary was told she’d be the mother of Jesus, she couldn’t have possibly understood everything that would entail. As I said before, parenting is already impossible to plan for, but parenting the Son of God? That’s a level of unpredictability she wouldn’t have even begun to be prepared for. But she faced this Holy wrench that was thrown into her life with a song of praise and liberation. When Jesus was still an infant, He was blessed by Anna and Simeon, two people who were strangers to Mary but who had been waiting for this child for years. And during Jesus’s adolescence, Mary found Him astounding religious scholars with his understanding of the Divine. These are just two examples, but we can be sure that Mary’s life as mother to Jesus was full of the normal unpredictability of parenthood as well as the mystery of raising the Son of God.
However, after the incident at the temple, the writer of Luke tells us that while she didn’t understand everything Jesus said to her, she “treasured all these things in her heart.” And, at least in my experience, that’s how parenthood works, too. I certainly don’t understand everything that happens with my baby. Why doesn’t she just sleep if she’s so tired? Why does she keep grabbing her pacifier, but then gets angry that it’s not in her mouth? When she smiles at me, is she actually happy to see me, or is it just gas? I don’t have answers to these questions and probably never will, but looking back over the last seven months, I still treasure all the weird, confusing, beautiful moments with my daughter. Mary’s example shows I can have this same attitude toward life in general. I may not always understand what God puts in my life, but I can embrace the mystery and treasure it all.
Holy Lord, let us look at the world the way Mary looked at her Holy Son. We want You to move through us and embrace Your mysteries and unknowns. Thank you for Mary’s example of motherhood and faith. Amen.
Written by Preston Thiemann
Preston Thiemann and his wife, Rachel, live in Lincoln with their daughter, Clara. He is the Web Content Coordinator for the ASEM Marketing team at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, where he’s worked since April 2015. At Sheridan, he also plays guitar with the Praise Band and is active in Sheridan’s 20s & 30s group called Second Quarter. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, watching movies and spending time with friends.