Sunday, December 8, 2013

We Celebrate His Birth, But Miss the Point -

From "Heresy of a Curious Mind"

We Celebrate His Birth, But Miss the Point -

The Bible tells us Mary will be called blessed, but many do not call her anything at all. The majority of Protestant believers ignore Mary. It is the overcompensation to avoid the recurrence of the error. Throwing truth out with error, the baby that got tossed out in the bathwater of error this time happened to be the Mother of Jesus. I do not support an extreme elevation or veneration of Mary or of any creature for that matter, since such a view would cloud the vision of the preeminence of Christ. But, neither do I agree with the place to which most Protestant churches have resigned her.

Although it is true grace shed on someone does not indicate moral or spiritual status, it is also true God had a plan for salvation from the foundations of the world and in His plan, Mary had a place. As people of faith, Mary’s story has a deep and significant meaning for us. Grace is given without, and many times, in spite of spiritual condition. It was not Mary’s state or condition but the willingness of her decision that drew the sovereign will of God. In this vein the early fathers found something so fascinating and deeply spiritual about the story of Mary they elevated her to a venerated status. As we look closer into the story of Mary we will see she is the template and prototype of the true mystical experience. Her experience is the key and summation of the entire Christian process. In her we find our spiritual likeness, our history, and our story. In the story of Mary the mystical life is foretold.

LUKE 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. 37 For with God nothing shall be impossible. 38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. 41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: 42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. 43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45 And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things, which were told her from the Lord. 46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, 47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

LUK 1:48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. 49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. 50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. 51 He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. 52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.

In His grace, God chose Mary, a young woman with no obvious attributes that set her apart from hundreds of others. In her own words, she was someone who counted herself as a lowly maiden. In his power and mercy He came to her. His spirit was on her and in her and He communed with her within her heart and soul. God, being out of time and space, had a plan for creation before He created. This also includes the incarnation. Creation was created for Jesus and through Jesus. The plan for creation was completed in the mind of God before the act of creating. Therefore, Mary was in God’s plan for the birth of Jesus before creation, but because of free will she had acquiescence. It was because of her free will and the obedience that followed from it she was blessed. We cannot know why Mary was chosen and set apart. God has always used men and women who seemed common and ordinary to do great things. So it was with the mother of God. Mary, by believing the child in her was indeed sent and fathered by the Holy Spirit of God and set in her virgin body for the redemption of man, became the first Christian.

“ The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:35

It was not through doctrine or church that they met but through a real and powerful personal communion. This is the essence of the mystical experience. God draws us and woos us to Him and in our desire to be with Him we are allowed an intimate communion with Him. In this spiritual state of togetherness with God, the Holy Spirit of God implants Christ in our spiritual wombs. Christ forms in us, grows in us, moves in us and through us until we give birth to Him through our hearts and souls and show Him to the world in our love and actions with spontaneous acts of love and serving. It is through a heart and mind that calls out to Him and declares, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” Only in this can we contain God’s Spirit. Only in this will God hold us. By this alone comes the world’s greatest experience. What we do not realize in our simplicity is each time Christ is birthed in us we are experiencing the mystical equivalent of the incarnation once again. Each time we nurture Him in us and show Him forth to others, we have become Mary and the great incarnation has come upon us.

ISA 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

It is for this event that even if man had not fallen, still Christ would have come. He is the crown of mankind. He is the crowning of creation. He was destined from the foundation of creation to be the one and only avenue for the union of God and man. Such a union going far beyond any understanding communion could bring. Thus, we may commune with God but Christ lives in us, in a state that is distinct yet in union. We are Mary. Grace implants the spirit and we gestate, hopeful to give birth to Christ in us. We should not only celebrate the birth of the child, Jesus, but we should celebrate salvation, which is the spirit of God in us, as the womb of Christ on earth now.