No Christmas Without
by Rev. Frank Schaefer
Luke most likely heard the story of the annunciation from Mary herself (Mary
is identified as one of the witnesses Luke had interviewed for the writing of
his gospel). It is her "calling story."
As outrageous as we would think a statement like this would be in today's
world, as outrageous it must have been back then.
Sometimes, we have this sense about the New Testament era that everything was
different. We romanticize it in our minds; to us it was a mythical time of
miracles, a time when God talked with people directly, when angels delivered
messages and when the world was so much more innocent from today. Give me that
old time religion!
Realistically speaking, however, the New Testament times were not so
different from our times. When Mary had the encounter with Mr. Gabriel it was
just as hard for people to believe her story as it would be today...
...The Song of Mary is one of
eight ancient Christian hymns preserved in the New Testament and is
the oldest Christmas song.
What a sense of joy, Mary
expresses in this Song-a deep appreciation for God's intention to bless
the world through this child, even save it like in ancient times. What
sense of personal blessing she expresses to be chosen to be a part of
this extraordinary gift. She believes that she will be remembered
blessed in the history books forever. She was right so far. 2000 years
later she is revered and remembered by more than 1 billion Christian
believers in the world.
Is it any wonder that Jesus
ended up being the prophet he turned out to be? I imagine his mother had
a lot to do with his extraordinary sense of destiny to proclaim the good
news to the captive, the oppressed and the poor. Or let me put it this
way: would Jesus ever have reached his full potential had his not been
there to instill this faith and sense of calling in him?
Let's face it: not only did
Mary give us the first Christmas song, without her there would be no
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