I fell apart in worship. It doesn’t happen often. Three to four times per year I guess. Dena told us about her Mother, then Kim sang “Mary Did You Know?”. So many things about Christmas stir sorrow and grief. Mary and Joseph struggled so under the burden God asked them to carry. They willingly, even joyfully said yes, but the burden was still great. Just how much did they understand that their son the Messiah would be the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 49-53, as well as the triumphant King? It was all there, but Jesus’ disciples didn’t see it, so perhaps Mary and Joseph missed that part. Regardless, the burden was still there for we know things at an unconscious level even when our minds can not comprehend them intellectually.
Am I weeping for Mary, or with her? Scripture does not show her weeping. How strange, with all she endured, that we don’t see her broken spirit, her grief, but only her faith. Perhaps it is unnecessary to show her grief – that would be obvious, wouldn’t it. What we need to see is her faith in the midst of her sorrow – her courage in the midst of struggle.
So I wept. Sobbed really, though not for long, as I had responsibilities and was not willing to let myself completely come unglued. I easily could have cried for an hour, I’m sure. Sometimes life is filled with such strain that the only thing we can do is cry. Scripture knows that. The psalmist cries out to God in worship, in the sanctuary, and at home. Jesus wept as he stood with his friends outside the tomb of Lazarus. Jesus wept in the Garden of Gesthemane prior to his arrest, trial and crucifixion.
What does it mean for us to be a people who weep? As we stand with Mary and weep for our own suffering, for the suffering of Jesus, and for the suffering of the world he came to save, will we weep with them both? Does weeping with Mary free us to also dance and sing with her?
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For God has looked upon His lowly servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Almighty has done great things for me, and HOLY is His name.” (Luke 1:46-48)