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Meditating on Mary

Mary, the mother of Jesus, is an important figure in every way. After all, it was her body that ushered in the tiny body of our Savior, Jesus, into this world.

Still there is controversy among us, as believers, on the amount of time we should dedicate to her.

For now, let’s spend a few moments meditating on Mary. Because, if we make too little of Mary, we miss out on more of God.

Looking at Mary and seeing how God sees her gives us a window to see how God sees us. Her role then is significant to you now.

This week in Advent, join us as we explore the mystery of our Savior’s birth through a young girl named Mary.

Let’s dive in!

Highlights:

We take the humanity out of Jesus when we make his birth too abstract because we think of it as something that is surreal, that is beyond the physical world.

Jesus becoming flesh dignifies our flesh.

Part of Jesus’ story is that his body came into this world through Mary’s body.

Extras:

Mary’s Song in Luke 1:46-55

(Mary chooses words to magnify the Lord from Psalm 22, 44, 103, 1 Samuel 2:1-10, etc. showing us that she held Scripture close)

“And Mary said: ‘My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name.

His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.

He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.

He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.

He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.

He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.’”

If you want to learn more, check out Josh’s latest musing on this topic at, Why Mary Matters to Your Body

Click for Full Podcast Transcription

As we move into the second week of Advent now, I want us to take a little time today and focus on Mary. Now, like many of you, I grew up in an environment Christian environment that did not talk much think much do much with Mary. Matter of fact, we were warned about not focusing too much on Mary. We saw the Catholics veneration of Mary as something that was inappropriate, because Jesus is the savior, not Mary. But I think while it’s true that some Roman Catholics may focus too much on Mary, I do believe that most Protestants focus way too little on Mary. And this is important, because of Mary is too small a figure in the Christmas story. If Mary is too small a figure in the Christmas story, then we are not really hearing or receiving the whole story. Let me say that again, if we make marry two smaller figure in the Christmas story, then we are actually missing out on the whole story. We’re gonna talk about that today. Now, many of your listening, you tune into this podcast because we focus on issues related to sexuality and becoming whole, sexually relationally emotionally. And I hope as we go through this, you’ll recognize Why marry is so important, as we consider becoming sexually relationally whole people. We’ve said it here many times, and I’ll say it again this morning. To be a human being is to be both body, and spirit. And sometimes we think about the Christmas story. we idealize it too much, we make it too abstract. Because we we think of it as something that is surreal that is beyond the physical world. Silent night, holy night is this serene, beautiful song, suggesting that Jesus didn’t cry, and we kind of, we take some of the humanity out of Jesus, when we make it make Christmas to serene to Silent to still. Now I believe there was silence and stillness on that night, it must have been a beautiful night in some ways. But let’s reintroduce Mary into the story and see where it leads us in our own recognition of what it means for us, in our bodies. So let’s start with Jesus. Last week, I mentioned that when Jesus became a human being he forever dignified humanity, that him becoming flesh dignifies our flesh. It’s a concept that goes back to Athanasia St. Athanasius. And we shared about his illustration that if a king moves into your city, if the king moves into your village, then he elevates the quality of the caliber, the theme of that village, he brings with him the riches that he has, he brings with him, the the soldiers and the protection. So that village becomes something greater than his band. And when Jesus became a human being, he in essence, did the same thing he elevated and made stronger and more beautiful and more dignified, what it means to be human being. But let’s go back to that illustration, and look at it from a different lens. Because I think sometimes, when we think about Jesus humbling himself, we can almost view him like that King or that ruler who comes into a town. And he moved in because he likes the view. He likes the real estate. He likes the climate there. But that’s not why Jesus became a human being. That’s not why he moved into our village. He didn’t move in to develop it. You know, he’s not a big developer who comes in and just kind of bulldoze is the Old Town Square and builds a huge shopping mall or a huge casino or amusement park, and then ends up exploiting the people who lived there and who used to call up their home, offering them more money because now they’re working in his factory. That’s not what Jesus did. That’s not why he moved to this village. He moved in to this village, because you live there. He didn’t come for the climate, or the view or the real estate. He moved in, because that’s where you live and he wanted to live near you. Jesus became a human being, because you are a human being. Jesus became flesh because you are a flesh. Jesus moved in because that’s where you are. He humbled Himself, because that’s where you are. And this brings us back to Mary and why it’s a mistake to make too little of her in the Christmas story, like many of us have. We think back to Adam and Eve here. Since Adam and Eve’s fall, humanity has has felt in itself has carried within itself a deep sense of humiliation. After Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they looked upon their naked bodies and felt shame and they hid themselves from each other, from probably their own eyes and from God. But look, look, Jesus United himself with Mary. So the humiliation that Adam and Eve wrought into humanity and into all the earth, that they carried in their bodies that we have carried in our bodies all this time, since their sin. Jesus United himself with Mary, Jesus came into a humble virgin girl. When he carried in her body, the humiliation, he entered into her, he became a, an embryo in her. And we’re talking about conception here. Mary was not a surrogate mother. That’s it. That’s a wrong reading of what it means that the Jesus was was in her womb, she wasn’t a surrogate mother. She wasn’t just a womb, that God was using. God united with her egg. Now there was no father. So there’s no sperm involved. Here, God did not have sex with Mary. But in a miraculous way, God through His Holy Spirit moved upon an egg in the in the body of Mary, United himself, with Mary’s egg and was conceived. Now, we got to be careful here because we don’t want to slip into heresy. God the Son existed for all time, he is not created, He is begotten he is, he has always been the Son of the Father. God, the Son has always existed, He is eternal. Scripture teaches us. However, God the Son became a human being at a point in time, he was not always human. He became a human being at a point in time. So God, the Son always existed, but Mary’s son came into being through the union of the Holy Spirit, and Mary’s egg. This means that Jesus was not just God’s son, he was, in fact, Mary’s son, too. He looked like Mary, when he was born, there would be people who would look at him and say, Oh, he looks like his mom. He looks like his mom. He had her DNA. Jesus became united with Mary, God, United himself with humanity. So this comes back to what I said at the beginning. If we make too little of Mary, that we miss out, we keep God’s incarnation as, as a theoretical and conceptual and as abstract. But God became flesh Jesus is a man is eternally is a man, God United himself with humanity for all. Through Mary’s womb, this was real people. She wasn’t just a surrogate for a time. This is real. He became a human being, and will always be a human being. Now, obviously, he is also God. And the early church fathers and mothers wrangled and wrestled with how to understand this and, and if we go too far to him, he’s just a human being, and we forget that he’s also God, then we slipped into heresy. Jesus was not just just man, he is also always God. But he is not just God, or only temporarily, man. That’s also heresy. God, Jesus is Jesus, the son is both God and men, fully God, fully man, fully God, fully man. And the only way he could become fully man was to be born of Mary, was to be born of this virgin. When we make too little of Mary, we make too little of ourselves. Let me say it a different way. When we make too little of Mary, we make too little of what God thinks and feels about us. When we make too little of Mary, we make too little of what God thinks and feels, what his posture is towards you. And me. He moved in to your town because he lived there. He became a baby because you were a baby. He took on flesh because you are a flesh and he wants to raise you up. Not to be some spirit, not to be some ethereal thing, but he wants to raise up your body. You long and thirst like all of creation does for the resurrection and the revelation of the sons of man and woman. What does that mean? It means when we see ourselves re dignified, re beautified restored, resurrected as those who have been rescued by Jesus. I’m stumbling for words, because I’m talking about a deep and great mystery here. Obviously, what I’ve been talking about probably raises more questions than answers. But I want to encourage you this Advent season, I want to invite you this Advent season to join me as I’m trying to meditate on and and delve into this great mystery, that God became flesh in the womb of Mary, that God United himself with human being, he united himself with Mary, for our sake, because he wanted to move into our village because you live there because I live there. So would you join me in just exploring this mystery and not being afraid of making too much of Mary? Because in fact, God made so much of Mary by making his home in her body and becoming one with her. Lord, I am speaking way above my paygrade here. How could this be? How could this be? And how could you think so much of us, that you would come to restore us to something far greater than we’ve known we have carried humiliation so long in our bodies and we have acted with humiliation towards one another, in our relationships in our sexuality? heckler Lord, in our eating in our drinking in our spending, we have treated ourselves as those who are humiliated and you Lord humbled yourself, that we might be elevated again. Lord, forgive us for making too little of Mary and thus finding our way to make too little of how you think and feel about us. Open our eyes to see her as you see her that we may see ourselves as you see us. God, thank you. Thank you, thank you, that you were conceived in the womb of Mary. Thank you for the incarnation. Open our eyes in the eyes of our heart to know you better there. And the the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, I pray Amen.

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