Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Empty Nest: Through Her Eyes

Mary’s experience as a mother was not unlike the lives of mothers today. Despite her faith, as Jesus grew older, her fear and uncertainty became tangible.

“While writing in my journal today, tears fill my eyes as I slowly scan my house full of children. Everyone is here except Elizabeth. She is home with her husband and two little boys who are the delight of our lives. Thankfully, Elizabeth and Amos live close enough to visit often. It is heart warming to have young children in the house again.

Simon and his wife, Leah, have already reclined into the room Joseph and I shared for many years. Leah joined our family a few months ago and has already taken over many of the household tasks. She has been a blessing for me and my sons. My heart grows warm as I watch them enjoy each other’s company. By the gentle way they touch each other, I know they are as much in love as Joseph and I were.

Judas is here now, but he may leave any minute. He enjoys visiting his friends and only God knows what they are doing. I pray a lot for him. Every time he leaves the house, I utter a simple prayer for God to please bring him back safely.

My miracle child, Sarah, is sitting at the doorway hoping Joel may come for a visit any moment. Since she met the young boy at the well on his return trip to his hometown, Cana, she has done nothing but talk and think about him. Reminds me of my first encounter with Joseph.

I look around and see a house full of children, yet my heart feels empty. There is one missing. My first born son, Jesus, is not here. Physically, he is sitting outside under the big tree with a little bird perched on his shoulder, but he is no longer in my house. Since cousin John came to visit a few months ago to tell Jesus of the angel’s visit, Jesus has been with him. John said he was going to the Jordan to prepare the way for our Messiah. Since the first day I visited Elizabeth and her baby leaped in her womb, I knew this day would come, but never did I expect it to be so difficult.

Jesus has been my child for 30 years. Did my Lord really expect me to let him go like I never knew him? God should know it is impossible for a mother to ever stop loving a child.
God’s plan is for children to leave their mothers. Elizabeth left my house to live with a loving husband and the hope of a new and glorious life as a wife and mother. Jesus will be leaving with… well, I don’t know what.

I know the angel Gabriel promised me Jesus would inherit the throne of David and a kingdom. Joseph did not get to witness the kingdom we anticipated for our entire married life. I fear I may.

Dear God, the fulfillment of Your promise is my desire. I fear it is near and I must prepare my family for what is to be. Please give me the strength and wisdom I need. My dear God, You know I will comply with any plan You have for my life, but do You realize how hard it will be for me to give him back? For 30 years I have witnessed him grow in stature and in favor with all men, and in wisdom beyond man’s comprehension. 

Only You know what will happen to him. I pray I will be able to follow him in his journey and continue to record my version of his life. As always, I remain your bond servant to do your will.”

Mary Bailey is the author of “Jesus My Son: Mary’s Journal of Jesus’ Early Life.” For more information, visit

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Christmas Story: Through Mary's Eyes

What do the 145 verses found in Matthew and Luke really tell us about the true Christmas story?
An in-depth look at Matthew’s story reveals facts Joseph would know:

·      Mary and Joseph were betrothed.
·      Mary was found to be with child.
·      Joseph planned to send her away secretly.
·      The angel appeared to Joseph.
·      He awoke and took Mary as his wife.
·      Jesus was born.
·      The Eastern Magi visit the couple.
·      An angel appears to Joseph who immediately takes his family to Egypt.
·      The family returned to Nazareth.

An in-depth look at Luke’s story reveals facts Mary would know:

·      Gabriel visited Zachariah announcing the birth of John the Baptist.
·      Gabriel visited Mary.
·      Mary hurried to visit Elizabeth.
·      John the Baptist was born.
·      Jesus was born.
·      The shepherds visited the stable.
·      Jesus was presented in the temple.
·      The family returned to Nazareth.

Are these men writing about the same birth? Aside from the family’s return to Nazareth, the only event that is the same is the birth of Christ,

Many educated men and organizations have tried to take this fact out of the reason for the Christmas season. But even the scripture shows us that all the other celebrations and events leading up to that miraculous event are not important. If we take the birth of Christ out of Christmas, we have no reason to celebrate. There is no holiday.

In the form of a tiny human baby, Mary gave us the greatest gift. Because of this gift, God gives us the ultimate gift of eternity.

When you receive gifts, do you leave them lying around unopened? Do they sit under the tree for years before you rip into the paper to see what is inside? So why do we not open the greatest gift we could possibly receive in our lifetime?

When we open the gift God wants to give us, we receive a new life; a life filled with peace and joy. The turmoil and anxiety created by the commercialization of the season disappear.

Because of Mary’s willingness to serve her Lord, this gift is always available. All we have to do is open it.

I pray you have a very blessed Christmas and a New Year filled with all the blessings God wants to give you.


Mary Bailey is the author of “Jesus My Son: Mary’s Journal of Jesus’ Early Life.” For more information, visit

Monday, December 13, 2010

Jewish Customs: Through Mary's Eyes

Through her journal, Mary brings readers on a journey as she, Joseph and baby Jesus take part in many of the Jewish customs and ceremonies of today. As parents living under the Law of Moses, Mary and Joseph were required to perform certain ceremonies. Although Jesus was God’s son, Mary never assumed her son might be exempt from these requirements:

“Evidently God wants His son to go through the same experiences and emotions as every other boy. Until I am aware of the requirements of a Messiah, I must treat him as an ordinary child.”

According to Jewish law, a male baby must be circumcised eight days after the birth. Since Mary would be considered unclean until after her purification ceremony, she could not participate, but could only imagine the scene:

“I can picture the priest taking Joseph’s strong steady hand and skillfully guiding it until the first few drops of precious blood were shed. The first tears of pain were also. At that time Joseph told the priest his name is Jesus… Today Jesus became an infant Jew; a son of the family of David.”

No more than 33 days after the circumcision, Jewish women must be purified from their bleeding through a cleansing ceremony in the temple:

“I dropped my offering into the huge trumpets… the incense floated into the blue morning sky. I am considered Levitically clean from my flow of blood; free of stain. What a wonderful feeling.”

After Mary’s cleansing, Jesus was presented in the temple for the redemption ceremony:

“The first-born child is, according to the Law of Moses, God’s property… the father must offer the male son to God.”

By the Law of Moses, the first-born male must be bought back from God through a sacrifice of an unblemished lamb. If the family could not afford a lamb, two doves would be acceptable. The entire day, Mary anticipated a more worthy sacrifice than the two doves they could afford.

“The unblemished lamb I had hoped would miraculously appear did not. With our 16 shekels we purchased two turtledoves… Apparently God did not agree with the importance I had placed on the item to be sacrificed.”

She and Joseph walked to the door of the Court of Women where, by law, Mary had to wait as Joseph took Jesus to the Gate of the Firstborn in the Court of Priests to present Jesus for the redemption ceremony:

“The priest examined our child and found him to be free of bodily blemishes. Joseph redeemed him with five shekels and two doves. Watching from a distance, I could only imagine the relief and pride on Joseph’s face.”

Mary obediently followed the Jewish customs because they were required by God. Although Jesus may have helped write most of these commands, Mary realized God expected his son to be treated as all other Jewish children. As an earthly son, Jesus participated in the same life experiences as children today.

Join Mary on her magnificent journey through the first 30 years of Jesus’ life in Jesus My Son: Mary’s Journal of Jesus’ Early Life, available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mary's Early Motherhood: Through Her Eyes

Today, mothers usually learn from a doctor or through a home pregnancy test that they have conceived a baby - but not Mary. Through her journal, readers can join her on her journey and experience the emotion she felt when she learned from an angel that she was going to become a mother - and not just any mother:

“You will conceive in your womb and bring forth a son. He will be great and will be called the son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.”

The long awaited Messiah was going to be born in Nazareth to a humble, peasant girl. She had no reason for worry, yet like most mothers, she was still anxious:        

“Why am I worried? I am carrying the son of God. Joseph and my parents will be as delighted as I am, won’t they?”

Mary looked forward to becoming a mother, but because of Joseph’s disbelief, her future was uncertain. She never doubted her ability to be a good mother. Her only concern was that she would be unable to give this child back to his heavenly father when he called for him:

“He will take nourishment from my body for nine months. He will drink from my breast for two years. How can I bear to give him back to You?”

When the time came for Mary’s child to be delivered, she was frantic to find a suitable place. She struggled with the thought of becoming a mother in a stable full of animals. She thought that God would certainly provide a more worthy place for the birth of his son, but it wasn’t to be:

“I wanted to insist we travel further, but my mind finally surrendered to the demands of my body. It didn’t seem to matter to this precious little baby whether we were in a mansion or a stable.”

Reaching motherhood in a dark, dusty stable surrounded by God’s creatures was not how Mary had dreamed this miraculous event would happen. Although alone, she had her heavenly father to guide her.

“The voice of the midwife who attended Elizabeth echoed in my mind. I obeyed her command and pushed as hard as I could until my son finally arrived.”

In one of the lowliest places in the city, Mary became the mother of God’s son. She cuddled her baby, felt his breath on her cheeks and fell in love as only a mother can.

Join Mary on her magnificent journey through the first 30 years of Jesus' life through Jesus My Son: Mary's Journal of Jesus' Early Life, available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.