Each year on the Sunday closest to August 15th I get to preach a sermon about Mary, the mother of Jesus. Now, that may seem just fine to some and strange to others. Most 1pieta2Lutherans have never concerned themselves very much with Mary, just like most of Protestant Christianity. I will admit that for most of my life I didn’t understand what the big deal was. She was just some woman who happened to be who God picked to give birth to his Son. Could have been anybody. After all the important part here is really Jesus.
I think Mary herself would agree. The important part IS Jesus.
I had a friend once who believed that Mary had come to her in visions. She believed, and I think she still believes, that Mary came to give her a message to give the world. That message is, ultimately, “Follow my Son.” Now, I do not know whether or not this friend of mine actually had a visit from the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Maybe she did and maybe she didn’t. But I am convinced that the message she believes she received is a truthful one. I believe Mary would say, “Follow my Son.”
Mary never was one to look for the spotlight, so to speak. She doesn’t make more than one speech in scripture (song, really) and her conversations are fairly minimal. She shows up here and there and if it were a movie, it wouldn’t seem that her role is of particular importance in the story because after the Christmas scenes, she doesn’t make a lot of other appearances. She says herself that she’s a mere handmaid. Very young. Probably not from a particularly well-to-do household. She even describes herself in the song she sings as lowly.
So you see, it doesn’t really matter what we say about Mary. She is small, lowly, meek and weak, mild and completely, utterly ignorable. She’s just some woman God picked. It could have been anyone. Any nobody would have been able to fulfill the job.
But it wasn’t just anybody. Most of all, it wasn’t Somebody. God chose Mary. Not a wealthy woman, not a princess or queen. Just Mary…..


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