I was convicted recently about how little we dwell on, think or teach about Mary. This must be because of a massive over-reaction to the idolatry of Mary. At times Mary has been worshipped as equal to God and even to a place higher than the Son of God she bore. Although this is wrong, the conviction in my spirit told me that there is something very precious to learn from her life and in the over-reaction, we are in danger of missing it.
Firstly, she was a woman! Those who have problems thinking God does not honour women can see from the life of Mary that she was entrusted by Him with the most precious thing He had, to love and nurture His own Son. Not only that, but she was not married! This speaks volumes to us of God’s value of women and God’s value of single women.
Mary held a highly valued place in God’s eyes. Without doubt she was an ordinary human being, but one through whom God chose to give His Son human life, and Jesus Himself clearly so loved His mother. What an honour for Mary, and how beautiful is her response of humility! This must have been why the Lord was attracted to her, because at all times she gently pointed to Him. Far from idolising herself, she drew others to magnify the Lord.
Mary, as a human being, must have been overwhelmed at her situation, full of awe and bewilderment. Not least, she must have felt very alone. There was certainly no one to turn to who had undergone a similar experience! We do not read of any bitter, self seeking, self idolising or self promoting characteristics in Mary. She was neither self righteous or sickenly subservient, but rather held a position of right value of herself, and that which God had entrusted to her. We do not hear of her complaining of the journey she underwent and the ultimate struggle of birth in the animals’ byre because there was no room in the hotels. She did not rise up to say who she was, and what she should have, and how she should be treated.
Later in life, she had to release and give up that which was most precious to her, and she entrusted back to God all that He had entrusted to her, without complaint. Her faith in the face of Jesus’ suffering was immense. We can learn so much from the life of Mary and her beautiful words below:
‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, For He has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant, Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed: For the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is His name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation, He has shown strength with his arm; He has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; He has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty; He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, according to the promise He made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.’
These words from Mary’s heart speak to us of how God has bound Himself in covenantal love to us as humankind; how His loves seeks out those of a lowly and humble heart, and how beautiful that is to Him and those around them too. He does not tread down and humiliate, but is the lifter of our heads from shame and disgrace. He has no favourites, but judges the heart and scatters the proud.
Our God is merciful and keeps His everlasting promises that He will help Israel and all those who belong to Him. He will not forsake us.
Prayer: Lord we thank You for Your servant Mary, her humble heart, her willing obedience and for her words of praise to You, which tell us who You are. Mighty God, You have indeed done great things for us. Thank You for Your covenantal love, Your kindness and Your promises. Holy is Your name. We magnify You, Lord, today and our spirit rejoices in God our Saviour. Amen.
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