And Still, She Praises

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings:
Joshua 10-12; Luke 1:39-56


46 Mary said,

“With all my heart I glorify the Lord!
47     In the depths of who I am I rejoice in God my savior.
48 He has looked with favor on the low status of his servant.
    Look! From now on, everyone will consider me highly favored
49         because the mighty one has done great things for me.
Holy is his name.
50     He shows mercy to everyone,
        from one generation to the next,
        who honors him as God.
51 He has shown strength with his arm.
    He has scattered those with arrogant thoughts and proud inclinations.
52     He has pulled the powerful down from their thrones
        and lifted up the lowly.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
    and sent the rich away empty-handed.
54 He has come to the aid of his servant Israel,
        remembering his mercy,
55     just as he promised to our ancestors,
        to Abraham and to Abraham’s descendants forever.” (Luke 1:46-55, Common English Bible)

Call her naive, after all, she was most likely only 13 or 14 years old. On the other hand, call her spiritually mature beyond her years. She knew better than to even think she could outrun God.

Was she naive? Mary was engaged to Joseph. Being engaged in the Biblical era was about as binding of a contract as a woman could be in, though the woman had no real say in said contract. And, think about how she would sound. “I am pregnant. God did it.” Honestly, would you believe a word she said? I am honestly not sure I would believe her. Those words certainly don’t sound very mature.

To make matters worse, and Mary had to know this, for an engaged woman to have sex with a man was adultery. It was just that simple. As soon as her pregnancy was noticeable tongues would start to wag. It wouldn’t be long before the religious leaders, some of the very ones Jesus would deal with some 30 years later, would become involved. Once they became involved, there would be a call of some kind to stone Mary to death, the penalty for a woman caught in adultery. It would have been lights out for the Messiah before Bethlehem was even on the horizon.

And, still, she sings praises to God.

But perhaps, despite her young age, what we see here is spiritual maturity. Here just might be a young woman who knew if God gave her this task, God would walk beside her and see her all the way through. With the turn-around in Joseph, that is exactly what God did.

Whichever it is, naive or mature or something altogether different, or maybe it was a combination of both, make no mistake, Mary was a woman who truly was favored by God. Was it easy? I don’t know of a mother alive who would tell you pregnancy is easy under the best of circumstances and Mary’s circumstances were far from ideal. Still, she praised God. Joseph was anything but excited with the prospect of a pregnant fiancee of which the baby was not his. Still, she praised God. People around her talked. They talked about her. Without question, people would have talked. It is just the way some folks are. Still, she praised God. She knew she could die. Still, she praised God. She had the frightening responsibility for raising the Son of God. And still, she praised God.

As I read Mary’s story, at least to me, it is easy to see, God made the right choice. She was a young woman who was at least a little naive. But, she was also a woman with a spiritual maturity well beyond her years. She was a woman after God’s own heart, who would follow God’s will, all because she had a heart for God.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

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