And on the 7th day God sends us Mary. Well, that’s a little dramatic. It’s Day 7 of Advent and finally we come to a familiar name. Mary, the mother of Jesus. Studying the text and following the book “Light of the World” (Amy-Jill Levine) I have begun to see what a radical entrance Mary makes.
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. (Luke 1: 26,27)
Mary, the young virgin is visited by the Angel and told that she will have a baby, a very special baby. An interesting fact is that no where in the Gospels do we get any since of who Mary is… of her lineage. The Gospel of Matthew gives us 17 verses on the bloodline of Joseph, but nothing about Mary. From Luke we will see that she is a relative of Elizabeth. Even Elizabeth gets billing as a “daughter of Aaron”… we’re talking Aaron, as in the brother of Moses, the founder of the priesthood… serious bloodline. As Levine says ”Mary’s background, save for her connection to Elizabeth goes unremarked.”
For Jane Austen fans… I’m thinking of that line from Elizabeth Bennett (Pride and Prejudice) … talking about her sister Lydia. “she has no money, no connections…”
Mary did not go the head of the class based on her bloodline. So why does God chose Mary to be the mother of Jesus? Let’s hear it from the Angel. “Mary, for you have found favor with God.” (Luke 1:30b)
Let that sink in. Mary is chosen to be the mother of Jesus, not because of her pedigree but because of her heart. She has found favor not because of who her ancestors were, but for who she is. That is radical.
God knew the kind of woman Mary would be, the kind of mother she would be. Mary would worry about her son in his ministry and she would be at the cross, at the feet of her son. It doesn’t end there; we see Mary in the book of Acts, still working for the ministry of her son, in the early church. Acts 1:14 “All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.”
Yes, Mary is in it for the long haul. She is strong, she is good. She found favor with God.
Grace and Peace at Advent