I remember watching Mark Lowry’s comedian videos with my parents when I was a kid. He was my first exposure to stand up comedy. But when I heard that he wrote and sang “Mary, Did You Know?” I had to tip my hat to him.
He always struck me as weird, maybe flaky even. He didn’t strike me as a “serious” Christian. I couldn’t imagine him sitting deep in thought about the deep spiritual truths of the Bible. But that song turned my opinion of him around. Clearly not everyone shares my opinion.
Whether it was done in good fun or earnest judgment, the Internet has taken a disliking to “Mary, Did You Know?” Besides being written by a crazy funny man, and song to death by every church holiday pageant, the fundamental question does have an answer.
Yes, Mary knew.
Read Luke 1:26-38 where Gabriel the angel tells Mary all this. Or read Luke 2 when Simeon prophecies over Jesus. Mary was there. She knew.
And while the Internet and all its brilliance is technically correct, I’m going to put my flag in the sand here and say this, “LAY OFF “Mary, Did You Know?“
I don’t think that Mark Lowry was trying to write a song about the lack of education that Mary suffered from in relation to the Child she was going to have.
I don’t think that Mark Lowry thought Mary was deaf or hard of hearing and somehow this song would transcend time and space, and fill her in on the details of her upcoming life.
This song is supposed to draw us into worship.
I know. That’s hard to imagine, especially when the song is written by the guy that publicly makes fun of Bill Gaither’s nose. But actually stop for a moment. Don’t sing the song. Just read these words.
“Did you know that your Baby Boy has come to make you new?
This Child that you delivered will soon deliver you.”
“Did you know that your Baby Boy has walked where angels trod?
When you kiss your little Baby you kiss the face of God?”
“Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy would one day rule the nations?
“Did you know
that your Baby Boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
The sleeping Child you’re holding is the Great, I Am.”
Mark Lowry is provoking you to worship through this song. “Mary, Did You Know?” is a song for worship.
Consider this child. Mary, as the mother, consider this. You, the listener or the singer of this song, think about this. Who is this baby? Is he really just another baby? Is he just another mouth to feed? Another body to clothe?
No. This is God. God.
I can’t put into words how great and awesome this God, this Man with flesh on that has come to Earth. I literally can’t get my fingers to go fast enough to keep my thoughts straight on the page.
This is a song demands that those listening stop in the madness of the season and consider who is at the center. Who is the focal point in all of this?
The Lord of All Creation. The Ruler of All the Nations. Heaven’s Perfect Lamb. The Great I AM.
Did you know that? Do you remember that when you pushing the shopping cart down the aisle? Do you remember that when you are baking and cooking up a feast? Do you remember that when you say “Merry Christmas” to your family and loved ones?
This baby has come to suffer through the cruelty of life on Earth to make you new, in ways you don’t understand. This baby has come to deliver you from the suffering and cruelty of this world, and usher you into a Kingdom of grace and peace and wholeness. This baby has come for you, Mary. And for you, reader. And for me.
Does this song get annoying to hear? When it’s on repeat in every church and shopping center, sure it does. But there is an awesomeness to this song that a lot of other Christmas carols lack. The power to push me out of my holiday mindset and look back to God.
That cannot be mocked or taken away. That should not go unrecognized or appreciated.
“Mary, Did You Know?” is an amazing song. So lay off.