Today I have the great honor of sharing a post over at CBE International’s (Christians for Biblical Equality) Arise newsletter which has now been reblogged by Scot McKnight on Jesus Creed (!). This past summer I wrote a satirical piece for Arise about what it means to act like a lady. This time I took a more serious route and wrote about something I think about a lot during the Christmas season – the role of women like Mary in the story of salvation.
“One thing I love about Advent is that you can’t get through it without talking about Mary. Whether you believe that Mary was a saint, an innocent virgin girl, or even if you’re skeptical about the whole virgin birth thing, you can’t deny that without Mary, there would be no Christmas story. Because the story of the incarnation, of God becoming flesh, doesn’t begin in a manger full of sweet, clean hay with a lullaby of softly lowing cattle—it begins in the belly of an unwed teenage girl.
Maybe you believe that Mary was chosen to be the mother of Christ because she was particularly pious and holy. Perhaps you’ve heard sermons like the ones I heard growing up where Mary is held up as an example of virtue, that we might all strive to be holy enough to be called blessed and highly favored as she was.
In reality, we have no evidence that Mary was especially devout. All we know about her is that she was a virgin from the line of David, betrothed to Joseph the carpenter, and that when the angel came to her with astonishing, even absurd news, she simply said, “Let it be to me according to your word.” Mary was an ordinary girl who simply chose to say yes.”
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