Without Christ there is no Christmas. This is cliched but nevertheless true. However, these few days it was Mary I was meditating on. Without Mary, Christmas is an orphan. We owe the birth of our Saviour to a young teen girl who trusted God and said “Yes, let it be done to me as you want.” We owe a debt of gratitude to Mary for her simple child-like faith. Wisdom does not reside with the old and experienced. It resides with simple faith. A girl fresh from puberty played a vital role and her womb was the landing ground of the Saviour of the whole world. Most cultures look upon women as inferior, and they are not treated as equals and deserving of mutual respect. They are taken advantage of and patronized or ignored. Their talents, influence and gifts are not always fully appreciated nor valued. Worse they are also violated and oppressed and are objects of sarcasm, suspicion and cynicism. They are not taken seriously – unless they happen to be your mother. However, what man despises, God exalts. He did that 2000 years ago when He chose Mary – a teen girl to reveal the “arm of the Lord”, “a light to the peoples”. So do not forget Mary. Thank God for Mary and all the goodness she represents as a woman, as a believing Eve–faith, sacrifice, risk, tenderness, gratitude, gentleness, compassion, talent, strength, and resilience. It was David Yonggi Cho of Full Gospel Church, Yoido, who echoed William Booth of the Salvation Army, who declared, “My best men are women”. So today, thank God for all women and show your sincere appreciation when you wish your mother, your wife, girlfriend and daughter and sister a Mary Christmas.
First and foremost, Jesus was never born on Christmas Day.
Secondly, after Jesus was born, it would have been impossible for his mother Mary to remain a virgin.
Hence Jesus and his parents could not have been Catholics.
Would like to share this youtube song by Francesca Batistelli, called Be Born in Me.
Its a lovely song written from the perspective of Mary. The world may want to argue if Mary remained a virgin or Jesus had brothers and sisters. Its not important unless we plan to venerate her as a deity.
In the grand plan of God, she played a huge role in the redemption of Man …we learnt how she pleases God, simply trusting and obeying – a role model for all disciples that follow.
And isn’t it interesting also that in the genealogy of Jesus Christ, all the 5 women who happened to be mentioned there are of “weak” or even undesirable social standing, especially considering the culture of those times?
The 5 women mentioned are:
1. Tamar – widow who posed as a prostitute and tricked her father-in-law into sleeping with her
2. Rahab – a gentile prostitute
3. Ruth – a gentile widow
4. Bethsheba – wife of Uriah who committed adultery with David
5. Mary – an ordinary (probably poor) teenage Jewish girl
Why didn’t God single out more illustrious individuals for mention instead?
It’s as if in His eyes, the naturally weak are the ones that somehow are the most suitable for His plans, and we find this theme not only throughout the bible, but we experience this in our own lives as well.
Pastor Kenny’s life testimony in one of these posts is yet another example of God’s amazing grace.
(PS. This didn’t originate with me, I heard this tidbit about the 5 women from one of JP’s sermons actually, and I hope that we can put personal prejudices aside and still discern a good revelation from God regardless of the human messenger.)
Consider these also…..
I found one upright man among a thousand,
but not one upright woman among them all.
To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”
He must not marry a widow, a divorced woman, or a woman defiled by prostitution, but only a virgin from his own people,
Do u ever get the impressions that some of the authors were also misogynists?? Is there equality of sexes in the Bible or the church
Yes I suppose just reading and interpreting it superficially, it does look misogynistic, especially in today’s modernist context.
But I also try to interpret these things from a perspective that revolves around Jesus Christ. I believe that all the customs and laws and rituals and feasts and everything in the bible is patterned after Jesus and His finished work as I’ve said many times. The bible even states that all things were created by Him and for Him, so I suppose we may even look for such patterns within creation itself.
I have the distinct impression that (ancient Jewish?) marriage customs and vows and the subsequent “union” of husband and wife is really a pattern of Jesus Christ and His church. Just like we are the bride of Christ, bought with a bride price, given in marriage to Him forever and are made one with Him just as He is one with the Father, so is a woman to a man within creation.
In the bible, we see also that types of the church or Israel is usually represented as a (unfaithful) woman. There are many verses of God comparing Israel to a woman who commits adultery, but also promising that He will woo and restore her to Himself, her husband.
Therefore, just as the church is subject to Jesus Christ, so is a woman in the context of the bible subject to a man. They are “unequal” in that way.
Methinks yr interpretation trying to excuse obvious misogyny of some Biblical authors is intellectual dishonesty and is contrary to what the Bible attempts to convey – truth. To emphasize my assertion you may want to offer another rational n acceptable interpretation of the extreme long life of these characters.
The Bible records that Adam, for example, lived 930 years (Genesis 5:5), Methuselah lived 969 years (Genesis 5:27), etc. ….
Many apologetic authors also attempt these linguistic and mental contortions (like yours) – mainly because they hold to the notion that the Bible is actual (verbatim) word of God and must be perfect – this dichotomy wud create cognitive dissonance – simple n logical explanation wud be the authors (reporters/recorders) are fallacious humans and then to embellish their “experiences.” Memories are constructed differently from actual experiences.
Methi is we sud hv a intellectually, rational and logically defensible position to interpret these jarring passages instead of currently position of perfection – this is untenable and intellectual indefensible for me.
You misunderstand. I am not trying to “excuse” anything in the bible, but I am merely suggesting that there is more than meets the eye than merely the superficial reading of biblical passages. This definitely does NOT mean the superficial reading is untrue, but it also does not mean that the superficial reading is the be-all-end-all of a subject.
For example, I do NOT think that the story of Abraham and the sacrifice of Isaac is merely an allegory that never took place, but I also do NOT think that the story simply ends on a superficial historical account. I don’t know about you, but it is crystal clear to many believers that the whole thing really points to the one true sacrifice and how the Father gave up His only Son as an offering.
Anyway, it seems like you don’t believe that the bible is a literal telling of facts, correct? Or rather you choose not to believe literally in “difficult” passages like Methuselah living to 900+ years, but choose to believe literally in the laws written concerning women presumably because it’s easier for your intellect to swallow? I don’t know, but picking and choosing which passages to believe according to your comfort level sounds more like intellectual dishonesty to me.
To say also that the bible is not accurate or literal because authors of the bible are fallacious humans is a logical error. It is like saying that I am not fallible so I will never score 100% in a mathematics test. (But I did once, unlikely as it is). Let’s also not forget to include God as the chief editor in the picture. Even so, have you considered the mountain of historical and statistical evidence supporting the bible as an accurate account of facts, especially when you measure it against other contemporary accounts?
“It is like saying that I am not fallible so I will never score 100% in a mathematics test.”
Whoops, ironic statement there. Should be: It is like saying that I am not perfect so I will never score 100% in a mathematics test.
The family of Jesus Christ, ie His parents(Joseph n Mary), brothers n sisters, did not believe in Him and thought Jesus had gone mad when He began His ministry claiming to be the Messiah/Christ/Savior of the Jews.(JOHN.7:5, MATT.13:57, MARK.3:21) Why.?
Mary, the mother of JC, came from a priestly family. Her cousin was Elizabeth who was the mother of John the Baptist. Elizabeth’s husband was Zacharias, a priest who had served at the Holy Temple of Jerusalem.(LUKE.1:5-13 & 3:23)
……..So Mary’s family n relatives were part of the Jewish religious establishment and authorities. From young, JC had an independent streak.(LUKE.2:48) JC’s claim to be the promised Messiah/Christ/Savior, the Son of God, His coming resurrection, etc, must hv riled the priestly authorities n His priestly family.
….Remember that JC was murdered by a conspiracy of the Sadducees(a priestly sect), the chief high priest, the Sanhedrin n the Jewish religious authorities(JRA). They were angry that JC was “stealing” Jewish members from them. They rejected Jesus as the promised Christ/Messiah/Savior bc He did not save them from the Roman occupiers.
B4 JC came on the scene, there had been many failed christs, supported by the JRA, who could not defeat the Romans thru armed rebellion. The JRA desired for a kingly Messiah/Christ/Savior(JOHN.6:15), like mighty King David, who would save them by defeating the Romans.
After JC was gone(around 30 AD), the JRA raised up new christs(false-christs – MATT.24:24) to try the same thing. Finally, this raised the fierce anger of the Roman Emperor(Vespasian), who personally led a huge Roman army to finish off these Jewish rebellions by destroying Jerusalem and their Holy Temple in 70 AD.
James the Just, a brother of JC, usurped the position of bishop of Jerusalem from apostle Peter. At that point in time, the Jewish Christians still worshiped God together with the Jews, in the synagogues n the Holy Temple of Jerusalem.
….James was the leader of the Judaizers, a group of Jewish Christians who wanted all new Gentile converts to keep all of Moses Law, in order to maintain harmony with the influential JRA. James, the leader of the Judaizers, and Paul, the apostle of the Gentiles, became at loggerheads n “enemies”.(ACTS.15, GAL.2:9-14) James set a trap to murder Paul by instigating a religious riot. Paul escaped murder but instead got arrested by the Roman authorities.(ACTS.21:28)
JC had prophesied n warned His apostles n disciples to flee Jerusalem when they see certain signs happening.(LUKE.21:20, MATT.24:15) When these signs came to pass, James n his Judaizers did not obey JC to flee Jerusalem. They perished during the Roman siege n destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.
I think it is a mistake for believers to venerate Mary or James(book of James) or the family of JC. I think they were more loyal to their Jewish heritage n priesthood, than to God.
….Remember that Cain murdered his brother, Abel, even though both of them had made offerings to God, were able to hear from God n talked to God.
It is highly doubtful that Mary remained a perpetual virgin after giving birth to baby Jesus Christ. I think Joseph n Mary had thereafter consummated their marriage n brought forth the brothers n sisters of JC. That would be more logical n normal, unless God had forbidden them to become a normal married couple. If so, Joseph would hv gotten a 2nd wife(=polygamy/adultery.???).