Christmas for Mary meant learning what to teach her kids (Luke 1:46-55).
Those of you who have read my Jesus Creed will know that I think Mary had a hand in teaching Jesus a thing or two about kingdom mission. I hold it as a minimum that what Mary experience in the Magnificat and what Jesus did and taught are very similar. How so?
Notice these items and think of how Jesus also taught the same:
The holy name of God: May your name be hallowed.
Mary is poor: Jesus blesses the poor — his attention to them is notable.
Mary sees the powerful stripped from thrones: Jesus said the same thing; try Matt 23.
Mary is overwhelmed by God’s compassion: Jesus is known for compassion.
Mary is vexed for Israel’s redemption: read the end of Matt 23.
Now, observe this: James, the brother of our Lord, is not unlike Mary and Jesus.
Where do you think James learned this? “Pure and undefiled religion is this: to look after widows and orphans and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” I suggest either Mary (a widow) and the family (by the way, a child who lost only one parent was considered an “orphan” in the ancient world — Jesus and James were both orphans). I’ve been contemplating that James 1:26-27 emerges from the crucible of personal experience more than social observation.
I could go on, but James is obsessed with commitment to compassion and to good works, and I’m persuaded that he got it at home — older “brother” and mother.
Christmas, I’m suggesting, for Mary was where she got a fund of theology to teach her kids what God was summoning them to be and to do for God’s kingdom.
Mary, we bless you one more time.