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Posts Tagged ‘chosen’

The various characters of the Christmas story each play a vital and intentional role.

Herod is the insecure leader, willing to do anything to hold his throne. The shepherds are the unwitting observers just doing their thing, when the heavenly hosts came to make their great announcement to the Earth. Joseph is the strong and silent blue collar man engaged to the pregnant Mary.

And Mary, she is the young woman who delivers heaven to earth.

There are many who place Mary up on a pedestal near or at the place of Jesus. There are also many who view her as no greater than any other of God’s human creations. I tend to walk the fence on this one … and you can blame my grandmother.

I remember so clearly, as an adolescent girl, asking my grandmother why some people elevate Mary so greatly, whereas the small church (and when I say small, it was really small. I remember when we would sing “The Church in the Wildwood” I thought it was written about her church) she attended barely spoke of her. I have always remembered the response she gave, “well, God did choose her to be the mother of Jesus, I think we should elevate her a lot more than we do.”

I have been wondering and considering her words ever since, and how they fit into my worldview.

Maybe Mary had the faith of a mustard seed that I would so love to have. Maybe Mary was able to know no fear, because she had grown up in a time and a culture of verbal history telling. Maybe the generations old anticipation of the Messiah was so desired and longed for that all fears were erased, because the Messiah was finally coming to Jews (and the Gentiles), to remove them from their bondage.

Do we, as Mary, anticipate and desire the second coming? Are we able to put our fears aside, knowing that, in the end (as was true in the beginning) God is in control?

I think my grandmother was right about Mary. God chose her to be the mother of Jesus. He could have chosen another way to send His son, and He could have chosen any other woman. But, he choose Mary.

Perhaps it is the words of Elizabeth that give us the most insight as to God’s choosing of her to bear the son of God,  “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” Luke 1:45

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God knows what He is doing, both now and always.

For instance, He knew what He was doing when Mary was chosen to be the mother of the Christ child … and not me.

Mary was “highly favored” (Luke 1:28), I on the other hand am … extra human in regards to my use of phrase like, “that’s not fair.”

If I were to have walked in the shoes of Mary, and been visited by an angel (that is big enough as it is) who told me that I, a virgin, was to be inseminated by the Holy Spirit and give birth to the Son of God (and not even have the honor of choosing the name of my firstborn) I would not have replied, “I am the Lord’s servant, may your word to me be fulfilled” (Luke 1:38).

Then off she goes to visit her cousin Elizabeth … if it were me, my intent would have been to flee the realities that were going on, and to bury my head in the sand, as the great ostriches do to avoid their problems. But no, there is no avoiding reality from her first words, when Elizabeth’s pre-born boy decides to do cartwheels at the sound of her voice.

And the unfair things did not stop there! After Joseph got his angelic visit, and he hoped on board, they had to head travel to be counted in the census that Caesar decided was necessary. So off the pair trod, Mary VERY pregnant, and the two undoubtedly still confused.

Then, upon arrival at their destination of Bethlehem, there is not a room left for them to find refuge, and for their baby to be born.

At this point I would have been looking up at those shiny stars and saying, “really God? Really? This IS YOUR son, could we at least have a place to bring Him into this world?”

God knew what He is doing, then and now. He does not ask any more of us than we can handle, and being the mother to the Christ child would definitely be more than I could handle.

I remember being a young teenager and saying to my God-loving grandmother, that ‘other’ denomination puts too much emphasis on Mary (parroting words I had heard, rather than what my own heart and brain deemed to be true). My grandmother, uncharacteristically firm and pointed in her reply to her only granddaughter said, “and we do not emphasize her value enough! If God chose her to give birth and raise His Son, she must have been a very special young woman.”

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