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There’s Something About Mary

December 8, 2008

You know what I like the most about Mary?

Not that she was a sweet, willing vessel of God’s love (which she was).
Not that she remained a virgin her whole life (which I don’t buy…sorry Catholic readers, no offense).
Not that she wore a lot of blue (which she did, according to every painter during the Renaissance).

But that she was the kind of girl that people would look down on and judge today. And hers was the womb that birthed the Savior of the world.

Mary was probably about thirteen years old, unwed and living in a backwoods, poor, rural community when she was visited by Gabriel, announcing the news that she was to be with child and that child would be the Son of God. Imagine that in today’s world…some unmarried teenage girl from the ghetto turns up in the middle of your town or city, proclaiming that an angel had visited her and she was going to be mother to the human incarnation of God. As much as everyone praises Mary, if she was around today, every evangelical in a fifty mile radius would lock her up in a mental facility, while tutting and clucking about how unfortunate it is what young girls from the “wrong side of town” will do for attention.

I love, absolutely love, that God blessed Mary not because she was particularly pure or special, but because she was entirely unremarkable. He was creating a kingdom that uplifted the downtrodden and celebrated the weak, the poor and the unholy. He was beginning to teach us a new worldview that proclaimed love as the ultimate beautifier, a perspective which took the ugliest society had and made them the dearest to the heart of God. What a proclamation — that you don’t have to be good for God to love you and use you for something extraordinary. Simply, Mary was willing and that’s all He wanted. Mary was probably just some plain farm girl, with dirt under her fingernails who God looked upon and said, “Yes. When the world looks at My people, I want them to know that this is who I value and love.”

She brought His Son into the world, not in a palace of glory, power and majesty, but a junky old stable, a place where unclean animals like pigs rolled about in their own filth. Imagine Mary and Joseph showing up at the inn in Bethlehem. The innkeeper takes one look at this hick couple from Galilee and with a roll of his eyes, points these unwashed immigrant hippies to the stables.

This is the setting that God chose to send Himself into the world.
Surrounded not by kings and religious officials, but by uneducated shepherds and star-gazing philosophers from some far-off country, who were quick to believe that God was present, even though they weren’t even Jews.

How can someone know that and still think that the poor, the disadvantaged, the uneducated, the non-Christians and the foreigners aren’t important to God?

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.”

-Luke 2:8-20

 

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. shortnmorose permalink
    December 8, 2008 5:12 pm

    amen.

  2. Monsieur Frank permalink
    December 8, 2008 11:29 pm

    I totally agree with you, most people think God will love them more if they’re perfect, they don’t realize that being just the way he made you is the best way to honor him.

    HOWEVER

    Sandra and I think the title should be “There’s Something About Mary” which is not only so untimely of a reference that it’s timely again, but also is true, there is something about her, and you hit on that something wonderfully in the post. I know you’re going with the “Jesus was my homeboy” theme for the title (not dated enough to be funny, imo, give it a year maybe?)

  3. Caroline permalink*
    December 9, 2008 1:14 pm

    Hahaha, I will change the title just because you asked me to. And there were tshirts too that said “Mary is my homegirl,” just for the record.

  4. this0side0of0the0truth permalink
    December 9, 2008 6:54 pm

    Man, I remember once in elementary school I had to play the part of Mary for a church play. My role was short and sweet.
    The shining moment happened to be when Gabriel appeared and I was supposed to fall out of my rocking chair in complete surprise but without hurting myself.
    Its true that I practiced this fall multiple times at home behind closed doors.
    Eventually I perfected it, gave my three lines in front of a few hundred, fell out of my chair gracefully and thus was the star of the Christmas play that year.
    Not to mention that all the kids were ultra excited that my name actually meant Christmas and was sung in a few of our songs.
    Oh and did I mention that even then I didn’t have friends? My mom told me recently that people tried to be my friend back when and apparently I rejected them.
    To be with Sandra. She might have known me then.

  5. Caroline permalink*
    December 9, 2008 10:16 pm

    Sandra is worth rejecting all other friends for.

    And I bet you made a cute Mary, my little Christmas.

    I can’t wait to see you in a few weeks!!!!!

  6. sandra permalink
    December 10, 2008 10:03 am

    Noelle had more friends than I did.

    I had one:

    Noelle.

    She was the only one who accepted my excruciating awkwardness.

  7. Caroline permalink*
    December 10, 2008 11:18 am

    Yeah, I only had like two friends who were willing to deal with the fact that I’d usually rather be reading than hanging out with them.

    Though we did have fun playing Barbies and TMNT.

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