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Monday, July 9, 2012

Lacking Convention, yet Magnification

Mary must have looked crazy, unconventional, all her days.

Pregnant, unmarried teenager, but without shame. Waiting for God. Trusting in God. Carrying God. Bearing God before the world, literally. Walking obediently to the revelation only she had heard. Suffering under scorn and skepticism.

Magnifying the Lord.

She probably got accused as a parent. “Why are you so hard on James, but Jesus, he never gets scolded?” She was probably looked upon as a charity case by extended friends and family of Joseph, who endured her anyway. They didn’t know. They looked. They saw what they expected to see. She knew the truth. Was she always silent?

Magnifying the Lord.

But she knew him. She knew her son. She knew her God. She knew, always, that she could approach him. She knew that he would hear her. He would see her. “They have no more wine,” she said. He heard her. Tenderly, “Woman, what has this to do with me?” But they both knew. He knew what she was asking. She knew what he would do. “Whatever he tells you,” she told the servants. With confidence.

Magnifying the Lord.

What was her widowhood like? Young enough to remarry. “Why don’t you, Mary? You can marry anyone you choose.” But life’s focus was…different. Deeper. Broader. All of history was hinged and turning right before her. Greater things than convention.

Magnifying the Lord.

How much then was her grief magnified? How deep her own wounds? She walked in obedience. Did it bring her peace and prosperity in this life? She had nourished every cell in the body of God. (She was, then, the mother of the Church, wasn’t she?) She held his warmth in her arms. God walked when her fingers let him go. Let him go. Let him go. To them.

Magnifying the Lord.

How much then was her horror magnified when they nailed him, NAILED him, her child, her God, her Savior, to the crossbeams? Who could hold her body together? How did she not fly apart into a billion atoms of despair? Held together by the God Particle. If scientists only knew. But even then, in his anguish, he saw her. He heard her. He answered her. She trusted.

Magnifying the Lord.

Who else had known his intimate love? Who had been the young one he had nurtured. Fed the Bread of Life at dinner. Felt his warmth against his chest. Taken as a child and turned into a man. Mary must have looked crazy. Unconventional all her days. To the very end. “Woman, behold your son,” and to the man, barely out of his teens, “Behold your mother.” From that very hour. Two who knew him in unconventional ways, provided for by his unconventional command, to Magnify the Lord.

May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. – John 17: 23


glenwied said...

Amazing. Thank you.

M.K. said...

Beautiful post! She really is such a complex person, and we often forget. Did you know that Mary, plus Jesus's brothers, once traveled to where he was teaching, to take him into custody because they thought he was insane? For some unknown reason, she also did that. And later changed her mind, of course. We all have weak moments like that, when we doubt and listen to other voices. He forgave her.

--Rebecca said...

MK, I do know that passage, and have spent some time on it as well.
I may blog about it at another point, actually. I'm not convinced our English translations really get the association between the "ones close to him" and the family appearing later. The Greek there is not specific who the "ones close to him" were, and I suspect they might have been the followers who were close, but not "called to be with him" as the 12 were in the passage.
I think, instead, it might have been like the liberal church. They know there's power there, they're "close to him," but not "called," elected, chosen to truly know him. Yet they want to take dominion, use the power, harness it for their own purposes.
I've talked extensively about that passage with a couple of pastors and seminary friends, and while most are willing to accept the connection the translators made between that vague wording and the later appearance of the family on the scene, they also say it is really not clear and entirely possible that two different things were going on there.
It will be so fun and amazing to really KNOW one day, won't it? If we truly get to understand that much of the word. :) I look forward to that more than anything else I can think of.

Tammi T. said...

Very Powerful! Thank you.