I've been thinking a lot about Mary's load these last couple of days. Mary's name means bitter and although she is highly favoured with the privilege of being the mother of the Christ the Son of God, in her own personal experience this would be both bitter and sweet. All generations would call her blessed but in spite of her piety she would have been the cause of much gossip locally as she was with child before getting married, you can also hear the gossips talking, "so pious and look she has brought shame on her family".
This bitterness would increase as the years rolled on and she finds her other children rejecting Jesus and his claims, painful in itself but did they also reject the virgin birth, casting doubt on her own story? Then as the years rolled on she would have been appalled at the horrific rejection of Jesus, her son by the general public and the murderous hostility from the national leaders leading to the piercing of her own heart, prophesised by Simeon as she watched her son's execution. All the time knowing that Jesus is not just her son but God incarnate, born miraculously. That He was in deed the true messiah who had come to bring people back to God. To see his rejection as his mother and as a believer really must have been a double portion of pain.
Yet what a privilege for a woman born into poverty, living in it and at very young age to be honoured by God most high. Mary acknowledges that she is nothing more than a bondservant (doulos=slave) to God and yet this God most High, has stooped low to come into the womb of this woman. To choose her for a high honour, the highest honour ever given to a woman, to bare a son who would be the saviour of the world and her own saviour. He came to bring sinners back to himself and Mary was one of them. He came to heal the broken hearted and Mary for their sake, for our sake was willing to be heart broken for the sake of the gospel, for the glory of God. We shouldn't worship her but we should admire this woman who fulfils the promise made to Eve giving birth to the reconciling seed of the woman.