Son of Mary. Son of God.

 Patty Griffin wrote a song called Mary. The chorus:

Jesus says, "Mother I couldn't stay another day longer." Flies right by and leaves a kiss upon her face. While the angels are singing his praises in a blaze of glory, Mary stays behind and starts cleaning up the place.

In the last few years, the significance of Mary has increased for me. I've lately been thinking of her when I hear the verse, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). Most people reference this in terms of the anguish that must have been God's at seeing his son's abuse and death at the hands of those he was sent to save. I think of Mary, the mother who grew this son in her womb, birthed him, raised him, the woman who bore divinity in both body and spirit, who lacked God's omniscient mind, who stood at the foot of the cross and watched her son, in agony, take his last breath.

I love her for allowing her son to live the life he did, play the role of teacher, be an example of charity and loving-kindness. I would have been so proud of his ambitions, but I also would have held him so close if I would have lived in the political/religious climate of the time. I'm sure she knew his life transcended this world, but I know it didn't make the sting in her heart burn any less.   

I was sitting on the counter in our kitchen when I was in late in my elementary school career, talking on the phone with one of my best friends. We started talking about Jesus, and she said, "God loves Jesus more than any of us because he's his only begotten, so there's really no point if we're always going to be loved second best." I'd never thought about that before, and it made sense because I really didn't know what "only begotten" meant.

This idea stuck with me into high school, and for a girl growing up without a father around, God was who I had. And if he knew everything about me and who I wanted to be, I didn't want to be loved less. When I was a sophomore, I finally had a discussion with my bishop, who was also my cross country coach, so we saw a lot of each other (in the LDS church, a bishop is like the head pastor of a congregation, only he doesn't preach every Sunday). The clarification for "only begotten" was a simple one. Everyone on earth has a biological mother and father, Jesus's biological father just happened to be God, hence only begotten of the father. The real magic was how this transformed Jesus for me if I didn't have to always be second best in the eyes of God. There's no competing with Jesus, right? Right. I was an only child, go ahead and call me selfish when it comes to love.

Jesus is my brother in humanity and brother in divinity as God is the father of all spirits.

I'm hoping to spend between now and Christmas writing about the roles Jesus Christ plays in my life and understanding.


  1. Mary was a clearly chosen for her role, of that I have no doubt! I agree that watching her son being mistreated must have broken her heart. I know that she knew His purpose, but sometimes I don't think she truly understood ALL it would entail (I made this assumption in Sunday school once and I couldn't believe all the stuff I got for saying it, but I still believe it)! I am just grateful she was able to fulfill her calling. Because of her strength, I am blessed. I know Christ is the Son of God, therefore a God himself, but I'm pretty sure he had an AWESOME mom who taught him well and he learned from her.

  2. This is a beautiful post BrieAnn! I am looking forward to reading your next ones on this topic. Thank you so much for sharing these personal thoughts :)



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