Saturday, July 6, 2013

Luke 1:26-80

Yeah, I bet she went quickly to another place- the woman is pregnant, engaged, and insisting that she is a virgin.

There is a shared thread in these two stories, other than the obvious miraculous birth, they both involve people who are put in hardship and uncomfortable, undesirable circumstances and they come out with a profound understanding of the situation that they are in. Both Mary and Zechariah voice an understanding far beyond their circumstances. Mary says that "all generations will call me blessed" and that "He has helped his servant Israel in remembrance of His mercy as he spoke to our fathers to Abraham and his offspring." At the very least, Mary sees herself as part of that story, but what I would guess is more the case, she understood, at least in part, the role her circumstances were playing in the work of God in the world and in the cosmos. That is a big deal, and rare for a human to grasp.

Zechariah, too, must have had lots of time to contemplate while he was mute for roughly 9 months, and also voices an understanding of his specific circumstances having a place in the story and work of God. "He has visited and redeemed His people, and has raised up a horn of salvation for us ... to show the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant.. .and you, child (John) will go before the Lord and prepare his ways to give knowledge of Salvation of His people in the forgiveness of their sins." Forgiveness of sins? That is astounding, and it is certainly quite something to know about your child when they are less than 8 days old. Sheesh.

And all of this is in the midst of messy, very human, and generally strange social circumstances - an engagement + pregnancy through unknown circumstances, being mute, an elderly couple with a child, a pregnant young woman leaving home to stay with relatives. There was much, much confusion. I am sure.

I think that most of the time when I have read this story, I have been so focused on proving to myself that the miraculous is possible and actual that I missed the human element here. And missed some of the wonder of Mary and Zechariah grasping more than their situations.

No comments:

Post a Comment