Five Advent Lessons From The Life Of Mary - Part 4: She Took The Big Risks

Posted by Craig Borlase on 17 December 2015

God, you can now release your servant; release me in peace as you promised. With my own eyes I’ve seen your salvation; it’s now out in the open for everyone to see: A God-revealing light to the non-Jewish nations, and of glory for your people Israel. Jesus’ father and mother were speechless with surprise at these words. Simeon went on to bless them, and said to Mary his mother,This child marks both the failure and the recovery of many in Israel, A figure misunderstood and contradicted— the pain of a sword-thrust through you—But the rejection will force honesty,as God reveals who they really are. [Luke 2:29-35]

So, Mary realises that she's unmarried and pregnant, and that her public image could do with a little bit of touching up. What does she do? Nothing other than carry on trusting in God.

Having lost what social currency she may have had I wonder whether she ever feared she might have to sacrifice her relationship with Joseph as well. However keen she was to do what God wanted, it must have been painful to break the news of her pregnancy to Joseph, watching him deal with all that disappointment and regret. After all, he could have walked. Plenty of good men would have done the same in his position.

God dealt with that by speaking to Joseph direct. Later God also confirmed the promises he had given Mary about Jesus through the shepherds (considered by polite society to be thieves) and the wise men (even worse, they were foreigners).

But God's encouragements to the couple were hardly brimming with good news — check out what happened when they bumped into Simeon and Anna at the temple in the passage above. Although it must have been wonderful to hear God’s words confirmed again, all that stuff about the sword that would pierce her heart must have stuck with Mary throughout her life as Jesus grew up and began his ministry. Not an easy thing to live with.

The pain of God's calling carried on: they were forced to live as a refugees (Matthew 2 v13-23), only to return to realise how many friends and relatives had lost their baby boys during Herod’s slaughter, all because of their son.

Being ‘used’ by God can be difficult and painful. Then again, do you really want a nice, quiet life, free from Godly adventure?

More like this

The Friday Pickle; Community: the cause or the effect

We talk a lot about community these days. Marketing experts know that if they can get us to see their products as badges that show we belong and their websites as tools to help us connect with others, they’re tapping...

The Friday Pickle - how do you know when it's time to step back?

Christian ministry has little time for empire building or power-hoarding - or, at least it shouldn’t. Talk to any church leader working today, and they’ll tell you about the significant impact that generous leaders played in their lives. These were the people who handed over power, who let the young punks take the microphone, who took risks for the sake of the Kingdom and who knew that being a servant leader was more about being a Jesus-directed servant than it was a power-hungry leader.

The Friday Pickle: What Not to Wear

Have you ever told someone to change an item of clothing before leading worship? What was it? Why? Did it become a big deal, or was it all fine?

Free Songs

with chords, lyrics and MP3