Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Annunciation and Magnificat (Section 3e of the Nameless Luke Advent Thingee)

The Bonds of Motherhood

Read Luke 1.39-45

This passage always seems like an odd fit in the flow of the Jesus birth narrative. But when I pause and look at it and do a little studying, the reality of the narrative resurfaces. It’s so surreal a lot of the time – a virgin birth, angels, the silencing of Zechariah. But this is Relationships 101. Mary’s been given a great mission and a great weight. What should she do? Go to someone who is more mature for support. Not only more mature, but also dealing with something similar. She needs support, and does she ever get it!

John is fulfilling his role of pointing others to Jesus before either are born – talk about an overachiever. And Elizabeth interprets the reason for John’s movement. She’s a prophetess and proclaims again that God is on the move.

And her statement that Mary is blessed isn’t a statement without context. It is a powerful statement from the Book of Judges. Mary is equated with the anti-Mary, Jael. She drove a tent peg through the head of a king that warred against Israel. While that doesn’t seem like something Mary would do, they still have something in common. They’re both involved in the deliverance of Israel. Jael fought for Israel to deliver them; Mary will give birth to the Messiah, the ultimate deliverer.

The passage closes with Elizabeth honoring Mary’s faith. How can you live out your faith in a way that people notice? Giving yourself to the deliverance of others by sharing your faith and/or loving people in practical ways? Or maybe you need to be an Elizabeth, bearing the burdens of others by sharing how God has carried you through difficult times? (see 2 Corinthians 1.3-4)

How might God want to use you this Christmas season in light of this passage?

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