And Still, She Praises

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

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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,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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