I don’t know what to make of the Virgin Mary. People of various Christian traditions have such widely divergent viewpoints on her role in both the early church and worship today that it is easy to become confused. I’ve been told by protestant Christians that Roman Catholics pray to Mary like she is God and that “she is just another Biblical figure.” I’ve not experienced Catholics “praying to” Mary. Just calling upon her as an intercessor, which seems quite lovely to me. Catholic or protestant, it is hard to ignore Mary’s role as the mother of Jesus, her obedience to her calling at all cost and the Biblical references to her as “blessed among women.” Surely there is something about Mary. 

I do not possess nearly enough knowledge to come down on one side or the other of this centuries old debate, but I am fascinated by this woman and her decision to simply follow and obey. “Behold I am the bondslave of the Lord,” she tells Gabriel. “May it be done to me according to your word.” Given complete freedom, she submits her free will to that of the Lord as a bondservant by choice. Amazing – and, I believe, worthy of further exploration.
That is why I am so thrilled to tell you about a contest my friend, author LL Barkat, is running on her blog. She is giving away copies of Scot McKnight’s book “The Real Mary: Why Evangelical Christians Can Embrace the Mother of Jesus.” All you have to do is CLICK HERE and comment on her post by 6:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, October 8 and, if your number is picked by the random generator, she will send you a copy of the book. 
If you win, and are interested, I would be thrilled to yield this space for a guest post in November or December so we can hear what you thought about “The Real Mary.”
Good luck and Godspeed.
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