Labor of Love

Mary has been on my mind so much lately. Last year, I wrote a post about her on Christmas Eve over on my own blog. I still can’t imagine what was going through her heart and mind, but one thing is so evident: she trusted the Lord. 

And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy — the Son of God…”

“For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:34-35, 37-38) 

As a teenager, she trusted the Lord with everything. What a huge feeling – to know that she was going to basically be wrapped up in the Trinity – that the Holy Spirit, the Most High (God), and the Son of God were all somewhat in her midst. It must have felt overwhelming, but I wonder if she felt peaceful in the midst of it all? I’m guessing there were moments when she panicked, but she was obedient. I hope that whenever the Lord asks something of me that my response is always obedience and willingness, even if it doesn’t make sense.

Just after this in Luke 1:45, Elizabeth says to Mary,

“And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

Mary believed and trusted, even when it didn’t make sense. There was nothing to compare it to and no one who had been in her shoes, but she still trusted. She was a major part of something that literally changed the world. Jesus forever altered the course of human events when He came, lived a perfect life, died on the cross, and was raised from the dead after three days. He was and is the Savior, redeemer, perfecter, healer, and so many more things…

I went to Andrew Peterson’s “Behold the Lamb of God” concert recently at the Ryman and was blown away. He’s such a wonderful songwriter/storyteller and his Christmas album tells the story of Jesus so clearly. The song that really got me was “Labor of Love.” It’s about Mary, and I just couldn’t help but cry as I heard her story so beautifully put to words.

It was not a silent night
There was blood on the ground
You could hear a woman cry
In the alleyways that night
On the streets of David’s town

And the stable was not clean
And the cobblestones were cold
And little Mary full of grace
With the tears upon her face
Had no mother’s hand to hold

It was a labor of pain
It was a cold sky above
But for the girl on the ground in the dark
With every beat of her beautiful heart
It was a labor of love

Noble Joseph at her side
Callused hands and weary eyes
There were no midwives to be found
In the streets of David’s town
In the middle of the night

So he held her and he prayed
Shafts of moonlight on his face
But the baby in her womb
He was the maker of the moon
He was the Author of the faith
That could make the mountains move

It was a labor of pain
It was a cold sky above
But for the girl on the ground in the dark
With every beat of her beautiful heart
It was a labor of love
For little Mary full of grace
With the tears upon her face
It was a labor of love

I’ve walked with my friends and family through great joy and great anguish this year. We have hope because Jesus came that night. No matter what you’ve faced or will face, there’s always hope in Jesus Christ.

Mary Margaret Collingsworth is an Event Project Coordinator on the Church Education Ministry team at LifeWay. She specifically coordinates any training events for women’s ministry leaders like YOU Lead and the Women’s Ministry Forum. In her spare time, she writes for Story of My Life – her personal blog.


  1. Judi says

    I heard this song for the first time at our Christmas Eve service at church and was also touched by the choice of words ‘labor of love.’ My take-away from sermons and Bible studies this Christmas season is the obedience of the major ‘players.’ Mary. Joseph. The wisemen. The shepherds. They all obeyed. Oh, that we would live a life of such faith and faith-filled abandonment.

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