Regarding Mary

Every year around Christmas I begin to think about, and usually write about, Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Lately, however, I've been thinking a LOT about her. So much so that I've taken to reading books about her and trying to learn all I can about her life. I've always been puzzled as to why this magnificent woman that God chose to be the vessel in which to bring forth the Christ is talked about so little in the Protestant faith, and why whenever she is mentioned, we are always reminded that she was just an ordinary woman....nothing special.

I sort of get the feeling that God disagrees.

Of all the women on the planet, at one particular time in history, God created one woman named Mary who He had set aside to be the Mother of His Son. He chose HER. He didn't send angel-messengers to 2 or 3 different girls to see who'd say yes. He chose ONE. From the moment of Mary's conception, He knew that she was the one He wanted. His hand was on her life and He guided her to the very moment when the angel appeared and said, "Hail, [thou that art] highly favoured, the Lord [is] with thee: blessed [art] thou among women." ("highly favored" means "full of grace" (Favor, Favored: to endow with charis, Luk 1:28, "highly favored" (marg., "endued with grace") Verb Strong's Number: g5487 Greek: charitoo)

God endued Mary with grace. The grace it would take for her to take on one of the most emotionally wrenching jobs in the universe. I am constantly amazed at the lowly place in which we put her. She was not just one of many extraordinary women in the Bible. She was the actual Mother of our Lord. He grew in her belly and she birthed him and nursed him and worried over him.

And yet she is relegated in Protestant books and sermons as just a really cool gal who agreed to be the surrogate for God. Some Evangelical commentators and theologians are flat out rude when it comes to Mary -- honestly I became embarrassed and a little angry when reading some opinions of the very Mother of God.

Growing up, whenever I asked about Mary, I was told that she was just a vessel. Just a person. Just a pawn in God's plan.

I disagree. I think she is a pretty amazing, loving woman who deserves our honor and our love.

And I cannot, for the life of me, find anywhere in scripture that Mary points to anyone but to Jesus. In her Magnificat, Mary says that her soul "magnifies" the Lord.

[mag-nuh-fahy] verb, -fied, -fy·ing. verb (used with object)
1. to increase the apparent size of, as a lens does.
2. to make greater in actual size; enlarge: to magnify a drawing in preparing for a fresco.
3. to cause to seem greater or more important; attribute too much importance to; exaggerate: to magnify one's difficulties.
4. to make more exciting; intensify; dramatize; heighten: The playwright magnified the conflict to get her point across.
5. Archaic . to extol; praise: to magnify the Lord.

Luke 1:46-55 (KJV)

46And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
47And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
48For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
49For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.
50And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
51He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.
53He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
54He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;
55As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.
(bolding mine)

And yet, we don't call her blessed.

We don't call her anything.

The gospel is all about the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Mary was present at all three events. As a matter of fact, Mary was a vital part of each stage. Mary's "yes" to God was a "yes" to all of us.

Yes, I will carry the Son of God. (Luke 1:38)

Yes, I will be a mother to every believer. (John 19:26-27; though many argue that Jesus was only referring to John specifically, others believe all believers are disciples and therefore this transfer of maternity belongs to all of us.)
Maternal love and nurture is something vital to every single person on the planet. Without a mother's touch there is suffering. Without a mother's milk there is starvation. Without the love of a mother, the human psyche is forever damaged.

I will never know the truth of the mysteries of Mary until I get to Heaven and learn of it all...but until then I will honor her as the Mother of my Lord.

And I will call her blessed.

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