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30th March 2014
Mary was an amazing woman. We talk about her a lot at Christmas, but not so much the rest of the year, though we can learn a lot from her. An angel appeared to Mary to tell her that she was going to give birth to the Messiah – this was particularly incredible because she had not slept with a man!
Mary was a remarkable woman who believed what God said. God’s call on her life turned her world upside-down. Carrying Jesus, the Son of God, was life changing. It was extremely costly for her; she would have had to live with the stigma from those who didn’t believe she was a virgin. But Mary trusted God. She believed God despite difficult circumstances.
Mary’s faith was strengthened by her good friend, Elizabeth, who immediately recognised what God was doing in Mary and humbly honoured her. It doesn’t look like there was insecurity and jealousy in this friendship, but rather there was godly encouragement between them, pointing one another towards God. We really need friendships like this – the way God intended them, which is as a beautiful expression of God’s love and care for us.
Elizabeth proclaims truth over Mary, which leads Mary to pour out an amazing song of worship. We need to not settle for friendships that are too small! We can care about friends a lot yet somehow forget to be uninhibited about God in them.
Mary’s first calling was her relationship with God, and her friendship wit Elizabeth pointed her towards Him, the friend with whom she never needed to feel jealous or insecure or ashamed or shy. We need people to come alongside us and help us to focus our attention on God. Both friendship and worship are critical in our relationship with God.
Three decades later we see Mary again, at the foot of the cross. When her beloved son was going through his darkest ordeal, she was right there. She would’ve been the person who found it the hardest to be there, yet she was never lost to despair. Likewise, it is not the case that life will be easy for Christians. God promises not to leave us or forsake us; He promises that He will walk through tough times with us and will work all things together for our good. Just as Mary ended up at the foot of the cross, that’s exactly where we need to go.
Mary was there at the start and she was still going strong at the very end. She was there with the apostles and her children, Jesus’ brothers and sisters, were there too. She is an amazing example of trusting God from the very beginning to the very end.
Download the talk on 'Jesus & His Mum' and the life application questions here.
Posted by Paul Mann and Emma Hamberis