Mary don’t you weep

Mary’s Magnificat is a thing of true beauty. I have trouble, as does Vinith here, with this false duality that Christianity is either about social justice or glorifying God. Last time I checked, the two were intricately connected. As I mentioned before (and long before me, many, many others including the writer of I John), if you can’t work on loving your neighbors, you can’t truly love God. And loving one’s neighbors means looking out for their best, despite the cost to ourselves. Despite the fact that we have been taught that they may be lazy, no good, criminals, murderers. Despite the fact that they may be. Despite the fact that we may be. Loving the God of creation means loving the creation of God as well. Loving the God in whose image we are made means to love those who were made in his image. Praising God means uplifting spirits, and uplifting spirits cannot be separated from uplifting their bodies. This would include, say, feeding them throughout the year, not just in the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas (but more on that later). This may include making sure that they get access to adequate health care, affordable viable housing, and living wages.

Mary responded,
“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.
How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
For he took notice of his lowly servant girl,
and from now on all generations will call me blessed.
For the Mighty One is holy,
and he has done great things for me.
He shows mercy from generation to generation
to all who fear him.
His mighty arm has done tremendous things!
He has scattered the proud and haughty ones.
He has brought down princes from their thrones
and exalted the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away with empty hands.
He has helped his servant Israel
and remembered to be merciful.
For he made this promise to our ancestors,
to Abraham and his children forever.”

Passage from Luke 1:46-55, New Living Translation

One more point: It’s for reasons like this that I call myself a Christian rather than just a Christ-follower. As a Christ-follower, as I see it, I’m ONLY following in Jesus’ footsteps. But that’s impossible. I need others. We all do. That’s the point. Mary is one of the (stunningly) beautiful figures in the Gospels that is inspiring. She didn’t operate conventionally. She held her head up high in the midst of scandal. She dared to love the man who would leave her. She dared to love and obey God.

But I have this feeling that she was also very, very human. That she may have hurt mightily amongst the accusations. That she didn’t quite understand God’s plans through her, let alone fully understand the mission or nature of her son. A great crux between humanity’s frailties and God’s grace, which made her a great incubator for the God child – so to speak.

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5 thoughts on “Mary don’t you weep

  1. I’m so with you on the title thing. I can’t abandon “Christian” no matter how much it pisses me off sometimes. (And it seriously pisses me off sometimes.)

    We definitely need each other. And we need our shared heritage.

    Lovely post!

  2. Jason although I can fully agree with your premise on the importance of other key figures in the life of Jesus,especially his mother Mary, I have given up the title of “Christian”. I refer myself as a Jesus follower since I feel Christianity has been hijacked by the Right wing nuts.

  3. Of course I can see both of your points (and I’m not sure that there’s a right or wrong answer here), but for me, it means being a part of messy community. Great cloud of witnesses and all. For me, to remove myself from the word Christian wouldn’t just mean to remove myself from the RR, the Crusades, the Klan, and all the other ugly and anti-Christ elements of our shared history. It would be to remove myself from Chrysostom, from Martin Luther, Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa, Bernie and Ethel, Ray and Teresa, Mary, mother of Jesus, Mary, the Apostle to the Apostles, Paul and his dearly departed Yvonne, Antoine and Felicia…

    you know? real people that mean the world to me b/c being with them is as close to Christ as i could be in this world as it is now.

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