Preachers everywhere are happy to be done with John the Baptist and moving on to more suitable stories for preluding Christmas—this week our Advent journey gets to hear about Mary.
In the past couple of years, in light of the #MeToo movement, all kinds of things have been called into question. At this Advent and Christmas time of the year, one of those stories is the annunciation of Mary as told in Luke 1.
We think of Mary as being meek and mild, and acquiescing to the Angel’s (and the Spirit’s) will, and this is probably also related to all the art we see of Mary. Seen through the lens of all our society has been talking about for the last couple of years, we might have some questions:
“Annunciation paintings, regarded through modern eyes, can suggest comparisons to conversations about female submissiveness and male dominance. In this spirit of inquiry, we might imagine some push-back against the portrayal of a Christian Lord sending his enabler, the archangel Gabriel, to inform the Virgin Mary that she’s been selected to bear The Almighty’s progeny. Did anyone think to ask Mary if she wanted to be impregnated — however immaculately — and to bear a son who’d be known as a Man of Sorrow acquainted with grief?” (Carol Strickland, Even the Virgin Mary Has a #MeToo Story: The Annunciation)
The Biblical text tells us her response, in Luke 1:38: “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”
Mary Meek and Mild, or Mary, Corageous Cooperator and co-conspirator with God? That’s what we’ll consider this Sunday, December 23 at church at the Hook & Ladder Theater, 10:30 AM.