I once heard a Catholic priest tell a joke about a scene in Heaven. Jesus walks up to a Protestant and a Catholic and says to them, “I am glad to see you two getting along so well.” Then Jesus turns to the Protestant and says, “I would like to introduce you to my mother. I don’t think you two have met!”
We Protestants in the crowd laughed, but it challenged me to take a closer look at what we as Christians – both Protestants and Catholics – can learn from Mary.
Based on the Gospels, here are a few lessons that come to mind:
- We can be available for the work of God: “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “Let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).
- We can allow faith in God to override our fears. [Elizabeth said to her], “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her” (Luke 1:45).
- We can embody thankfulness: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior” (Luke 1:46-47).
- We can allow God to use us to speak prophetically to a world in need of a Savior: “He [God] has performed mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered the proud. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble” (Luke 1:51-52).
We can learn to treasure God’s gifts: “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).
There are many other lessons we can learn from Mary’s example. During this season of Advent, may we, like Mary, approach the future with humility, faithfulness, and hope.
God has chosen His Church to be the bearers of the good news of the person and work of Jesus Christ. Let us adore Him, and let us share this good news by the power of the Holy Spirit as we journey together through Advent.
Prayer for the week:
Teach us obedience, Lord
In every part of our lives
Ears to hear your word
Hands to do your work
Feet to walk your path
A heart for all your people
A mouth to shout your praise
A childlike faith
To the possible
And the impossible
I am the Lord's servant
May it be to me as you have said.
(John Birch at www.faithandworship.com)
Charles W. Christian is managing editor of Holiness Today.