Hail Mary

When you think of prominent women in history, one comes to mind in particular; Mary the mother of Jesus. She suffered many hardships and mistreatments, though it may be nothing compared to what many women of the persecuted church faced, she still had a hard life initially. She was a chaste, humble, and thoughtful young woman, which are very desirable qualities, by any standard.

The first virtue Mary displays is mentioned in verses 26 and 27 of Luke 1, “Now . . . the angel Gabriel was sent by God . . . to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.” Twice in this passage Mary is identified as a virgin, commonly considered a good quality among women and men alike, especially within the church, and, at this time among the people of Israel under the Law of Moses. The law has many rules about sexual purity, but Paul puts it best in Ephesians 5, “But fornication and all uncleanness . . . let it not even be named among you . . . for this you know that no fornicator [nor] unclean person . . . has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.”[1] This is a serious command from God and Mary has followed it from her youth.

Another amazing quality that Mary displays is her humbleness in any circumstance. “Then Mary said, ‘Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.’ And the angel departed from her.”[2] In this passage, Mary’s disposition is very admirable. Prior to this verse, an angel of the Lord explains to her that she will conceive by the Holy Spirit and that her Son is to be the Savior of the world. Even though God chose to execute His plan in a way that would compromise Mary’s reputation, she replies to His news with great modesty and calls herself the “maidservant of the Lord.” Her faith in her God is incredible that somehow everything will work out for the good of not only her, but also all who choose to accept Him as Savior.[3]

Thirdly and finally, Mary exemplifies a deep thoughtfulness, which is expressed two times in Luke 2. In verse 19, “But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart,” and again in verse 51, “. . . but His mother kept all these things in her heart.” In the present day many will admit that we are not extremely thoughtful about things, but Mary showed that contemplation was, and is, important. These passages are better understood when the context is examined. In verse 19, Mary had just recently given birth to Jesus and had watched as the shepherds came to her young Child and worshipped Him. She understood that all these things were very important and not to be taken lightly and she thought about them often. In verse 51, Jesus had been left behind at the Temple in Jerusalem and was scolded by His parents. Jesus’ reply[4] was confusing to them, but Mary remembered and often thought about it. When thoughtfulness is ignored, people will often run headlong into something they ought not be doing. In this, Mary is a role model for men and women alike, especially those who are impulsive.

To wrap up, Mary set an example for the Christians of today with her attitudes and attributes. She executed a disposition of sexual purity, meekness, and reflection, despite whatever circumstances she faced. Everyone can take away a conviction or striking aspect of this amazing woman. The attitudes she displayed should be copied even today, but ultimately, we must not forget to truly model her Son. Jesus Christ is the epitome of a virtuous man, and it is our responsibility to live as He did. As Paul puts it, “Therefore be imitators of God, as dear children.”[5]

[1] Ephesians 5:3;5

[2] Luke 1:38

[3] Romans 8:28

[4] Luke 2:49

[5] Ephesians 5:1

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One thought on “Hail Mary

  1. I know school is probably keeping you busy, but wanted to remind you of the church newsletter. This would’ve been a great article for CONNECT! I’m sure many would enjoy hearing from you in this way, while you are in school. You are certainly missed and prayed and thought of often!

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