Listen to this devotional:
Luke 2:34-35 – And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. (KJV)
John 19:26b-27a – He saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith He to the disciple, Behold thy mother! (KJV)
Following the loss of my mother, a beautiful collection of heartfelt poems entitled A Mother's Love (Blue Mountain Press) has been an inspiration to me. These poems reflect my personal appreciation for the value of my mother's life and are a lasting tribute to her love.
One stanza expresses this sentiment: "It takes a special woman to rise to the challenges of being a mom." Pondering this thought, my mother's strength of character, sacrifice, and nurturing love provided the very foundation which supported and kept my family together throughout many difficult trials.
As I contemplate today's Bible verses, another remarkably brave and extraordinary woman is an inspiration to me: the mother of Jesus, whom the Scripture says is "blessed … among women". (Luke 1:42 KJV) God's Word tells us very little about Mary, yet it is clear that she was a person of great character who bore more than her share of sorrow. Her grief is described as a sword that would pierce her own soul — as she stayed close to the cross watching her Son, the Messiah, die for the sins of the world.
Mary is an enduring example of willing obedience and submission to God. Though Jesus' disciples abandoned Him, His brothers denied Him, and His own people rejected Him, His mother faithfully stood by His side. Then our Lord, in the midst of excruciating pain being nailed to the cross for your sins and mine, honoured His mother by entrusting her to the care of His beloved disciple.
With these thoughts in mind, let us consider the following verse, which compares the love of God to a mother's exceptional love:
Isaiah 49:15 – Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! (NLT)
The depth of Jesus' compassion, not only for His mother's well-being, but also for the salvation of every soul, is the heart of God. It is this heart which manifests itself in the loving relationships we share. Moreover, His love will be remembered forever through the undying legacy and God-given gift of a mother's heart.
Prayer: Father, we give thanks for the special role of Mary, the mother of our Lord, and for all women in our lives who are close to our hearts, especially our mothers. Bring Your love into our family relationships and help us to reach out to others with the same understanding and compassion that is a reflection of Your own amazing love. In the precious name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.