For the past two days I’ve been at Christmas celebrations where they cite a passage where Joseph is thinking about divorcing Mary but the angel appears to him and tells him not to and to hang in there. (Matthew 1:20)
And then they talk about Jesus born of a virgin.
I often wonder – where’s Mary in this? Where’s 9 months, labor without an epidural, and who brought the swaddling cloths?
Mary, from the story above, ends up a halfway scandalized teenage spiritual nut who Joseph had pity on because he was obedient to the angel. That’s not true.
Here’s the sermon I need to hear…
“When Mary went to her kin(dred) Elizabeth’s house, not only did she receive a warm welcome, she received utter validation for the spiritual work she was being led into.
Elizabeth’s baby (Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist) LEAPED in the womb at pregnant Mary’s entrance. Even baby souls know truth.
But Mary’s response, as humble as she is always portrayed to be, is one of a warrior-servant : who claims her place at the miracle, who recognizes she has been favored, and who sees the battle. She neither says “Oh, Elizabeth, it’s no big deal”, nor “I so rock.” She wraps herself in the truth and proclaims it. Let us look at this together. It’s often titled Mary’s Song. But it should be Mary’s Declaration – or Manifesto.
“My soul praises the Lord;
my heart rejoices in God my Savior, because he has shown his concern for his humble servant girl.
From now on, all people will say that I am blessed,
because the Powerful One has done great things for me.
His name is holy.
God will show his mercy forever and ever
to those who worship and serve him.
Mary’s first response is JOY. Not even happiness but surpassing it into JOY = exceedingly glad. Does it say Joy specifically? You decide: (Greek here)
She worships not quietly behind closed doors but in that moment, right there, blissed out and sharing it with a non-jealous family member, who is also pregnant (go estrogen!) and says (get this) “And from now on, everyone everywhere will say that I’m blessed because God did this for me!”
And we walk around afraid to embrace miracles. We’re afraid of saying “I’m blessed because GOD DID THIS!”
Or others will be jealous. Or we’ll be misunderstood.
Or what if we didn’t give God the right amount of credit.
Mary continues, adding a what-I-know-for-sure lesson.
“If you worship and serve God, He will show His mercy to you (too)”.
Hey! It’s not just me! Hey Elizabeth- it’s you! Hey – it’s also for all those people to come and call me blessed for the rest of time because of this.” This is JOY.
When God’s seed in us creates a miracle that He is in charge of, we have to faithfully carry it, get to brag, tell our truth, share our lesson and encourage others. We feel joy!
We don’t just get to… I’m sure we are called to follow Mary’s example – we ought to do this.
Yeah, we don’t hear this, but it’s time we do.
Part two later….
In JOY 🙂 Vikki
Advent Devotions for Moms Day 6