“With all my heart I glorify the Lord!
In the depths of who I am I rejoice in God my savior.
He has looked with favor on the low status of his servant.
Look! From now on, everyone will consider me highly favored
because the mighty one has done great things for me.
Holy is his name…” – Luke 1:46-55
Yesterday I promised daily images designed to help us look at the Message, the Meaning, the Manger, and the Messiah. One of our first messengers is Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Rebekah preached on The Magnificat, the passage in Luke’s Gospel where Mary responds to the news that she is expecting this most exceptional baby. If we are not careful, Rebekah said, we tend to relegate Mary to the sidelines and miss the inspiration found in this remarkably faithful and courageous teenage girl.
“As Protestant Christians we do not worship and revere Mary,” Rebekah said, “but we must not forget to respect her.”
It is exactly the ordinariness of Mary that makes her such an important figure. Poor, young, under the oppressive thumb of Rome, hurried into marriage because of an unanticipated pregnancy, forced to flee the country as an exile with her new baby. Mary faced the disruptive indwelling of God with grace and wisdom and more than a little courage.
Rebekah pointed out how many times Christ’s teachings were foreshadowed in The Magnificat, and she wondered at how often Jesus had likely heard his mother repeat the prayer, and how profoundly her faithfulness, her devotion, and her obedience to God had shaped his young spirit.
Mary sets out on this journey to Bethlehem with Joseph (who we will talk about another day). She is a messenger for us and also a guide.
No helpless, weak, peripheral character, this fiercely devoted mother of Jesus is not only a key player in the Christmas story she is a messenger for us, from God, and a key architect in Christ’s preparation for ministry.
Would that we all had the courage and the conviction to say, “I am the Lord’s servant. Let it be with me just as you have said” (Luke 1:38).
In anticipation, and confidence – DEREK
- Today’s photos come from The First Sunday in Advent at WFPC