Mary knew she was created in God’s image. She and her cousin Elizabeth were chosen by God to be in community with each other, as they waited for their special sons to be born.
Mary was the first believer that God’s son would live on earth. Her pregnancy called her into discipleship with Jesus Christ even before he had come to full term.
The angel Gabriel came to Mary to tell her she would be empowered by the Holy Spirit in a way that no one had ever been empowered before.
Mary believed the angel and accepted his words as truth, and as the baby Jesus grew inside of her, her own faith grew as well.
Mary accepted the gifts God had given her, and she affirmed those gifts, especially her gift of faith in the pending birth of the Savior.
Mary went to visit Elizabeth and to support her during their pregnancies. The two women drew strength from each other. They both knew that God had great plans in store for their sons.
It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to believe that the lives of both Mary and Elizabeth were changed through the births of their sons, and that their relationship with God was strengthened as well. Elizabeth’s son, John, was born to prepare the world for the coming of Jesus. Mary’s son, Jesus, was born to heal the world by reconciling all people to their creator, his father, God. Jesus modeled a life of ministry and action for us. If we heed his life, we will also promote healing and wholeness in the church, the society, and the world.
I believe Mary would have embraced our Purpose Statement. (I think Elizabeth would have, too.)
May you find this Christmas season to be one filled with peace and joy as we share in the special community of women that Mary and Elizabeth began over two thousand years ago!
Kris Brugamyer, a member of the churchwide executive board, lives in Dickinson, N.D. This blog is a shortened version of an article Kris wrote for her synodical women’s organization newsletter in December 2004. Her original article was reprinted as a devotion in the December 2005 issue of Interchange.
Photo by Randy OHC. Used with permission.