Wednesday, December 16, 2009

recognition

Jenny Williams, in this article for the Ekklesia Project, lifts up Mary as someone who was faithful to God in, really, a smallish way. It had real and serious, life-changing consequences for her, but what was at work through God was way beyond her. While acknowledging that the Christmas story is about salvation on a cosmic scale, she gives us this provocative quote: "But I wonder if this Sunday is a time to instead give credit to the small acts of subversion that we really don’t see as subversive at all, or that come from places or people who do not see themselves as subversive."

I wonder, along with her, if this Advent, we're called to give special attention to the ways each of us is able to do the work of Mary and Elizabeth. Our scripture, from Luke's gospel, tells of Mary--having just had her encounter with the Angel Gabriel and having just assented to God's mysterious work in her--fleeing for the hills, to be with her cousin Elizabeth. There, Elizabeth recognizes the powerful mystery at work in her.

I think there's space for both kinds of actions: being willing to be bearers of the Holy Spirits work in our world (like Mary) and being willing to name, acknowlege and celebrate the Holy Spirit's work in others (like Elizabeth). Powerful.

Our Christmas stories have so much to offer in terms of hope and possibility. This week, they made me think of a story from Barbara Kingsolver that I read several years ago, and have posted as in the entry below. Enjoy!

5 comments:

offbeatpoet said...

Mary doing a smallish thing as given birth to Jesus Christ is not a small action of faith. To be the vessel for Christ one must be very spritual/Holy. To be a person of GOD then take the ridicule for the virgin birth was an enormous sacrifice, not a small thing.

I don't want to sound like a Catholic, but it can be said that Mary's virgin birth was the first step to eradicate original sin. The precieved cause of Humanity fall from grace by the actions of eve, was replaced by the devout actions of mary. To undermine Mary's role and say a smallish thing is queer to me and undermines the role that women have played to bring the good news to the world. GOD loves us :)

molly said...

Certainly, I agree that it was a significant and beautiful thing Mary did--but that it was a human-scale thing. Not a God-scale thing...

offbeatpoet said...

I have yet to see or read someone doing things comparable to God, the creator of all, except the holy spirit. Humans measure by humans, thus Christ came as a son of man brought forth from a daughter of man. As a human looking at a human, Mary's acts are divine. Oh well, im not the brightest bulb in a street light and my best friend does call me a closet catholic,lol

Cheers.

MarinaPfeiffer said...
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