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A Familiar Face at the Manger

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A Familiar Face at the Manger: Mary

Luke 1

Some denominations have been reluctant to speak of Mary for fear the speaking of her too frequently of in certain contexts will make her too great or perhaps something that she is not

She is the victim of circumstances that have obscured her real character

But at the same time the Roman church or Catholicism has put her in a position that is not rightly hers

They have made her the queen of heaven and in the process they have virtually canceled her humanity

The one side we dare talk of her too much for fear that we make her more than human

And on the other side we lift her so that her human identity is lost

And neither side really willing to state the real fact and that she is a part of Gods redemptive plan

Phillips brooks in his hymn O little town Of Bethlehem lifts a truth

 “The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight”

Our hopes and fears are reflected in Mary’s response to Gods act of Grace




Mary Maintains the Continuity of Gods Purposes:

She remembers and draws upon what is recorded in the word of God

Her songs are filled with scripture

They are saturated with reflections of the Old Testament

In her Magnificat you find excerpts from Genesis 1 2 Samuel Job Psalms & Isaiah

She takes up the theme of Sarah and Hannah both of whom experienced the blessing of the blessing of the Lord

The Lord blessed their womb in when they seemed to face impossible odds   

Prophecy stopped with Malachi

Mary bridges the gap and the lines of communication are reopened

The promise of the birth of Jesus reopens that line

Mary is living proof that of Gods capacity to sustain his purposes across the ages

Mary Models the Examples of Human Response

All of us respond differently to Gods purposes

Mary mirrors our responses

Unlike Joseph Mary speaks seven times in the gospels and then she is silent

Her first word is a question of Confusion “How shall this be?” Luke 1:34

She raised the first objection to the incarnation

Her second word is an affirmation of submission “Behold the handmaid of the Lord” V.38

Next there is a word of communication and compassion, she visits her cousin Elizabeth to share only what one woman could share with another

We don’t know what she said, but what we do know is that the impact of the incarnation on her life was to turn her service to another

 Then there is the word of Jubilation as she offers 10 verses of praise

The Magnificat

Then after twelve of silence there is a word of consternation (paralyzing dismay)

Luke 2: 48 Son why have you dealt with that way

Then there is a word of intercession ( John 2 They have no wine)

She recognized Him as the one who could resolve any situation

Finally there is a word of commendation

Whatever Hr says do, do it

She is the one who presents Him on the occasion of His first demonstration of superhuman authority

Mary Manifests the Fragility of Gods People

She is not only the obedient maiden

She is not only the sorrowing mother

She is also the one who understands what Gods purposes are

There are times when she intervenes when she ought to keep silent

Her interference could possibly thwart the purposes of God

She attempts to encourage something because of relationship when it is an opportunity to exercise faith

Mare evinced that there are times when we run the gamut of human emotions

We are not only faithful but also faithless

We are obedient but then there are times that we are interfering

We are perceptive and then we are not

Mary confesses that she is not worthy to be chosen of God

This is not false humility it is the truth of every human beings situation before God

It is an honest look at ones self

It places the proper focus on God

Mary is inspiration and encouragement that all of us can be chosen and used of God

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