08142021 – Luke 1.46-55
Mary, Mother of Our Lord
This is about “perspective.”
This is about how “WE” look at things.
“I asked God to take away MY PAIN. God said, No.
It is not for me to take away, but FOR YOU TO GIVE IT UP.
I asked God to make my handicapped child whole. God said, No.
Her spirit WAS WHOLE, HER BODY was only TEMPORARY.
I asked God to grant me PATIENCE. God said, No.
Patience is a by-product of tribulations; it isn’t granted, IT IS EARNED.
I asked God to give me HAPPINESS. God said, No.
I give you blessings. HAPPINESS IS UP TO YOU.
I asked God to SPARE ME PAIN. God said, No.
Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and BRINGS YOU CLOSER TO ME.
I asked God to make MY SPIRIT GROW. God said, No.
You must GROW ON YOUR OWN, but I will PRUNE YOU to make you fruitful.
I asked for ALL THINGS that I might enjoy life. God said, No.
I will GIVE YOU LIFE so that you MAY ENJOY ALL THINGS.
I asked God to “help me” LOVE OTHERS, as much as he loves me.
God said… Ahhhh, FINALLY YOU HAVE THE IDEA.” [Anonymous]
I TELL YOU IT IS ALL ABOUT “THE WAY WE LOOK AT THINGS.”
It is ALL “a matter of perspective…”
The story of Mary is MORE TYPICAL than we realize. God constantly extends his mercy and blessings to ALL PEOPLE.
It is all about “HOW you look at things.”
Maybe it is a by-product of aging, but day-by-day, SOME OF US realize how truly blessed WE ARE and HAVE BEEN.
Mary was blessed, but never forget, SO ARE WE! God was merciful to her, but he is TO US, as well.
God extends his mercy and love to ALL people, young and old, male, and female, MUCH MORE than we realize.
And Mary was grateful.
She was thankful.
She was humbled.
The whole story is really pretty amazing.
What was SHE 12 or 13?
She should have been going out of her ever-loving-mind. She should have feared for her life. She should have lived in fright and terror. She should have been filled with apprehension and dread.
This should be a story about dishonor, disgrace, contempt, blemish, blot, scandal, stigma, and outrage. But IT IS NOT. It is a story of joy, acceptance and welcome.
That is NOT HOW GOD works.
Rather, that is how “WE WORK-sadly.”
So, what does this young girl, named Mary do?
She goes “waltzing off” to visit a much older kinswoman. Not necessarily a wise decision on her part.
She should have anticipated scorn, shame, social ostracism, and all kinds of judgment coming her way…
Instead, she SKIPS OFF into the “hill country” a young girl, barely a woman, traveling alone, without seemingly a care in the world.
This should be an account about ill-repute, condemnation, and shame, lots, and lots of shame…and maybe some blame thrown in there. We do like to play the “BLAME GAME, you know.”
But there is no shame. That’s not how God works. Maybe that’s the way “WE” work, but NOT GOD.
The young girl is blessed and greeted with all kinds of honor for her status as the mother of the Lord, and also for her trust in God’s promises. In a single moment of time, all social expectations are overturned.
Elizabeth the older of the two women, knew what shame felt like. She knew what it was like to be excluded. She knew what it was like to be talked about by others and raked over the coals.
So, she welcomes the young girl. She could have turned her away. She opens her arms and her home. Remember, her husband is a priest, who serves in the Temple. All of her neighbors would have expected her to reject the young girl…and to send her off from whence she came.
She does the “unexpected.” She reverses the policies of society. She celebrates the young girl’s arrival. There is no discomfort. There is no embarrassment. There is no loss of face. There is no disappointment.
THERE IS ONLY JOY AND WELCOME AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF THE BLESSINGS!
WE are the ones in need of a new perspective. WE are the ones who need to see things differently. WE are the ones who need to be MORE OPEN. WE are the ones who need to change our way of looking at things. WE are the ones who need to acknowledge the blessings of our God. WE are the ones who need to move past judgement and shaming and finger pointing, and negatively talking behind the backs of others…
It is NO WONDER that Mary broke into holy-sacred-song. God sees things differently. God looks into the heart.
God sees the person. And, Elizabeth rejoiced!
When will we learn the lesson? Amen.