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Mary's Boy Child

By Maria Theresa Aquino

Day 8. December 21, 2021

Scriptures to Read: Luke 2:1-21

Mary’s Boy Child was written by the legendary composer, choral conductor and songwriter, Jester Hairston in 1956 and recorded by Harry Belafonte that same year.

This one is my favorite song among my Christmas playlists! As I write this, listening to the song – I can’t help but reminisce the good old days, the simpler times of childhood days. I grew up hearing this beautiful song every Christmas, year after year!

Long time ago in Bethlehem

So, the Holy Bible say

Mary's boy child, Jesus Christ

Was born on Christmas day.

Just like a bedtime story parents tell their children; the song begins with this line “Long time ago…” But this one isn’t a fairy tale story. It is a real story that happened two thousand years ago! The first two lines of the song tell us the source of the story -- the Holy Bible. Mary’s boy (Jesus) was born in Bethlehem on Christmas Day.

Mary was a teenager in a town called Nazareth, in the hills of Galilee. She was a virgin and was pledged to be married to Joseph. Mary was chosen by God to be the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ (Galatians 4:4); the one who was a virgin (Isaiah 7:14); the one in whom the Savior was miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:20).

Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem to register for a census because of a decree issued by Caesar Augustus. On arriving there, the place was filled with lots of people. Mary was exhausted and in the first stage of her labor, and they could not find a comfortable room to stay. She was about to give birth without her mother by her side, no relative, no friends around and to top it all, there’s no hygienic operating room yet at that time!

Now Joseph and his wife Mary

Come to Bethlehem that night

And find no place to borne she child

Not a single room was in sight

Finally, Joseph found a place where animals were kept and there Mary gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in cloth and laid him in a feeding trough, a makeshift crib for the baby boy.

By and by they find a little nook

In a stable all forlorn

And in a manger cold and dark

Mary's little boy was born.

And so, God's own Son was born in a stable! God sent some shepherds to rejoice with Joseph and Mary. They came filled with wonder and awe, telling the amazing story of an angel who had told them the good news that a new King was born.

While shepherds watch their flock by night

They see a bright new shining star

Then hear a choir sing a music

Seemed to come from afar.

Hark, now hear the angel’s sing

A new King born today…

As a mother, all the things that she saw and heard, Mary “treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). She devoted herself to raising, nurturing, and training the “child who grew and became strong; filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him” (Luke 2:40).

But this child, the Son of God, was going to suffer. At Calvary, Mary saw her son betrayed, deserted by his friends, falsely accused, and sentenced to death. She saw her son carry the cross, nailed to it and hung there to die. The worst thing a parent can go through is to see child get hurt and suffer.

But why did God sent his Son to be born and suffer this way?

For people to have a relationship with God, sins must be forgiven. When Jesus was hung on that cross, God placed all of man’s sins on Jesus and took the punishment for them. He is the only one who could pay for all the sins of all sinners for all time. He is the Messiah, the sinless one who was both human and divine…one who is both God and Man (2 Corinthians 5:21).

And man will live forever more

Because of Christmas day.

I could listen to this song over and over. Taking the lyrics to heart, the greatest gift, and the only hope of eternal life – Mary’s boy child, Jesus Christ.

Questions for further Reflection

1. As a mother, Mary treasured everything she has heard and seen about Jesus. How can you show that you value and treasure Jesus?

2. For the parents, what are some of the things you need to do consistently in order to raise, nurture and train your child/children? (Proverbs 22:6)

3. This Christmas season, spend some time meditating on the goodness of God in your life. Think of ways how you can share to others this “good news”.

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