As a Protestant, I’m not supposed to pay too much attention to Mary. Don’t want to get into that “mariolatry” thing, you understand. On the other hand, ignoring Mary is like starting at the finish line. It’s kind of like cheating. It was Mary’s holy and willing submission to the plan of God through which he accomplished our salvation. Not for nothing is it the case that the last words we have of Mary recorded in the New Testament (John 2) are: “What he (Jesus) tells you to do, do.”
Mary says of herself in Luke 2: “All generations will call me blessed.” And indeed we do. She was the most blessed of women, in that she bore in her womb our Savior. As if the miracle of human conception weren’t just blow-your-socks-off amazing enough. Add to the mix that God took from her our human flesh/nature and became incarnate, and, well, the little grey cells just disintegrate.
Mary is called the “Theotokos,” a Greek word that means “one who gave birth to God.” Protestants get a bit wiggly when hearing that. Not because we deny that he whom she bore, Jesus, was (is) God in the flesh. But we worry that somehow this transforms Mary into some minor rival deity. P’shaw! the early Christians would say. They were adamant about calling Mary “Theotokos” because they were adamant that he whom she bore was God. It’s a matter of right belief about Jesus.
I agree. Sure, sure I understand all the Protestant Roman-Catholic-heebee-jeebees that go along with that. But that’s our problem. Not God’s. Certainly not Mary’s.
In this Advent season which orients us to the fact and miracle of the Incarnation (and ultimately to the Resurrection–yes, Easter in December!), I plan on giving thanks to God for Mary. May I be willing to wholly accept God’s will like she did.