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The Mary We Never Knew
Where did I develop my ideas about Mary being a quiet, meek, gentle soul? For years now I’ve believed the myth that she we a frightened little teenager who bravely and quietly, endured shame, ridicule and embarrassment for conceiving a child out of wedlock. This morning’s sermon presented a very different view of Jesus’ mother.
June Cleaver may have been a wonderful t.v. wife and mother of the 50’s, but she is a far cry from the outspoken, determined voice of Mary as recorded by Luke in his Gospel.
I think my former image of Mary came from looking at her through the eyes of a comfortable, suburban Christian. How terrible it must have been, so this line of thinking goes, to be a chaste, godly women and be required by God to forever more be the subject of rumors and whispers. Looking at Mary though the story of the prophet Deborah gives a far different image. Mary never says a word about how terrible her situation is; rather, she is full of joy that God has chosen her to deliver his people from their oppression.
My prayer this morning was that the sermon on Mary might inspire our young ladies to be women of conviction, courage, and determination. Women who would, not simply be willing to endure suffering for the sake of Christ, but would actually rejoice to “be counted as worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name” as later followers of Jesus were described (Acts 5:41); and as Mary voiced in her song:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.” (Luke 1:46-55)