Third Saturday in Advent Mary & Jesus and Eve 21
Scripture: Luke 1:46b-55
“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.
47 How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
48 For he took notice of his lowly servant girl,
and from now on all generations will call me blessed.
49 For the Mighty One is holy,
and he has done great things for me.
50 He shows mercy from generation to generation
to all who fear him.
51 His mighty arm has done tremendous things!
He has scattered the proud and haughty ones.
52 He has brought down princes from their thrones
and exalted the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away with empty hands.
54 He has helped his servant Israel
and remembered to be merciful.
55 For he made this promise to our ancestors,
to Abraham and his children forever.”
Here we have what is known as the Magnificat, meaning “magnified,” named such for the first word of the Latin text in the Vulgate, as translated by Jerome in the early fifth century. Mary is a most significant person in Scripture and one who has at the same time been viewed differently as to her position and role in Christendom. A discussion of these differences is beyond the scope and purpose of these devotionals.
What I would like to do for us is to note Mary’s involvement in Jesus’ life during her entire life and then reflect on her role in relation to Eve at creation. We saw how Mary, as a young girl, humbly accepted her call to be the bearer of God’s Son. She followed the Jewish law in his eighth day circumcision and redeeming her first-born son on the fortieth day. According to the Scriptures, she bore at least six other children (Mark 6:3). She was most concerned when he was lost at the Temple at the age of twelve but didn’t understand his response to her question. While for unknown reasons Joseph apparently died at some point before Jesus began his public ministry. Mary was present for his first miracle at the wedding in Cana. Later she went with her other sons to “bring Jesus home” fearing maybe he had “lost it” (Matt 12:46). He affirmed that those who were his disciples were his “real family.” I’m guessing Mary was wondering what exactly that meant. When he was crucified, she was among those that were present at the cross, as Jesus commended John to take care of her. Following his death and resurrection, she was among the believing community and was mentioned as being part of the praying community at Pentecost and became a part of the early Christian community (Acts 1:14). The point is that throughout her life she was deeply involved in the life of her son as his earthly mother, in the early church, and in the spreading of the gospel following Pentecost. The first line of her Magnificat bears witness to her life, “How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!”
There is one other most important thing here concerning Mary. Sometimes she is referred to as the “Second Eve.” Elizabeth’s comment at the end is noteworthy. “You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.” In other words, Mary put herself in the Lord’s hands, submitting her whole self in trusting what God had said regarding her. The result was she gave birth to the Second Adam, as Jesus is referred to by Paul (1 Cor15:45). Eve when confronted with the choice of believing what God had said or believing a lie, chose the lie. The first Adam followed his wife, and the result was that man experienced natural earthly death and became a slave to sin. The Second Adam, born of a Second Eve (Mary), believed the Father and opened the way to a spiritual eternal body and restoration of a fallen creation. The first Eve’s response was “I want my way” and her husband went along with her, whereas Mary’s response was “I am the Lord’s servant” and her earthly husband honored her faith. Her Son followed with “Not my will but thine be done.” Whereas our earthly mother, Eve, brought sin and death, the earthly mother, Mary, brought forth the Son of God who offers forgiveness for sin and eternal life ushering in a new creation.
Music: “Magnificat” Johann Sebastian Bach UNAVAILABLE FIND ANOTHER
My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
For he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden:
for behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
You can watch and listen to the entire piece about 35 minutes long at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YHf3CtEi8E
Lord of all creation, we have erred and gone our own way from the beginning. We were born in sin and it didn’t take us long to confirm that truth! Our lives have been a long battle to humble ourselves and walk in your path. Discipline continues to be a challenge for us. We are continually guided by what we think, what we want, and how we feel rather than how you think, what you want, and how you feel. We live all too often by our fallen dead spirit rather than by your transforming Holy Spirit. We have doubted your word like our human mother Eve rather than believe you. Give to us grace and strength to walk in obedience as did your earthly mother, Mary. This we pray through Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen. ―Daniel Sharp
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