At Christmas one of my favorite songs is “Born in the Night, Mary’s Child”. It is a lyrical song
which reminds us that the Christ Child was not just a child, as he is the embodiment of God’s
grace. But Jesus was also simply a child, a child whose mother loved him so.
Born in the night, Mary’s child, a long way from your home:
coming in need, Mary’s child, in a borrowed room.
Clear shining light, Mary’s child, your face lights up our way:
light of the world, Mary’s child, dawn on our darkened day.
Truth of our life, Mary’s child, you tell us God is good:
prove it is true, Mary’s child. Go to your cross of wood.
Hope of the world, Mary’s child, you’re coming soon to reign:
king of the earth, Mary’s child, walk in our streets again.
As we approach the celebration of Easter, we are reminded of the difficult path which Jesus
walked as a human being. He was a person who sat with sinners and outcasts. He was a truth
teller. For what he taught about God and how he questioned human hierarchies of love- he was
scorned. Ultimately the human powers that be, took his life. And his mother had to watch him
suffer and die. There is nothing good about this. But there is some comfort in knowing that
God in Jesus knew human struggle and even the sting of death itself.
The good news we cling to in the midst of our human struggles is that this was not the end of the
story, not for Mary’s child and not for all of humankind. In the path of this unique man, we
come to know the depth of God’s love. Love itself overcame the grip of sin and death. We can
trust that the strength of this Holy Love is offered to us. So we look to the journey of Jesus in
this season of Lent, we look with sadness and repentance but also with hope.
The Ballad of Mary’s Son
It was in the Spring/ The Passover had come.
There was feasting in the streets and joy.
But an awful thing/ Happened in the Spring –
Men who knew not what they did/ Killed Mary’s Boy.
He was Mary’s Son,/ And the Son of God was He –
Sent to bring the whole world joy.
There were some who could not hear,
And some were filled with fear –
So they built a cross/ For Mary’s Boy.
1954, LANGSTON HUGHES