Mary, she is either adored or avoided, sainted or airbrushed from history. We often view her as a demure and dainty woman, her eyes coyly bowed in saintly meekness. This Mary points to a Christmas and a kingdom of quiet, passive submission. That’s hardly the Mary Luke portrays.
The real Mary has spiritual depth. She bursts out in extravagant worship, her praises peppered with Old Testament scripture. She boldly prophesies the demise of the powerful and the dignity of the humble. The “Magnificat” is a Holy Spirit-inspired revolutionary chorus.
In his book The Jesus Creed, Scot McKnight says about Mary’s song found in Luke.
“Mary’s song is actually announcing a social revolution. The King at the time is Herod the Great, and he is a power-tossing and death-dealing tyrant. Mary is announcing that he will be dealt his own due and have his power tossed to the winds. In his place, Mary declares, God will establish her very own son. Unlike Herod, he will rule with mercy and justice.”
Mary is gifted with grace, and she is gutsy! It’s Mary who calls for a miracle when the wine runs dry, it’s Mary, the disciple of Jesus, who does not bail out before the horror at the cross. Mary’s grace is not neutered or passive but is expressed in the remarkable confidence to call out evil without swallowing the same hatred herself. That’s the gutsy grace we all need.
These days online culture trains us to despise and trade cheap insults with those who are different from us. It’s time to rediscover Mary as an example of courage to confront with extraordinary grace.
Luke gives Mary a voice and a central place in the story. This teenager in the backwoods of Galilee is a worshipper with a prophetic voice and a heart for justice.
As we head to Sunday (in person) we are leaving space for more voices to contribute as we worship. We will take time to worship together and create space for us to listen for the Spirit to speak to us as we remember Jesus together in communion.
We’d love for you to listen in preparation for what the Lord might be saying to you for our church or for others so that you might encourage us all as we gather.
This is surely time to stir up our inner Mary and give voice to our worship and give words to what the Spirit is saying.