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Tuesday, December 11, 2007
The Real Mary - Week 2
Today we continue our discussion of Scot McKnight's The Real Mary. As I read this book one of the portrayals of Mary that really stood out to me was that of Mary as a woman of justice. Taking the words of Mary's song, often called the Magnificat, one can see that Mary stood for justice for the oppressed in an almost revolutionary sort of way. Just read over those words again -
Mary's Song
And Mary said:
"My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever,
even as he said to our fathers." (Luke 1:46-55)

Scot McKnight writes that "if we read Mary's song in Mary's real world, we will see that it is a song about turning injustices inside out and power upside down." The words of her song about bringing down rulers were subversive. She sided with the poor and oppressed in the face or a corrupt King and rejoiced that God through her was providing help for his oppressed people.

This isn't Mary "meek and mild," this is a woman who has faced hardship and struggle. This is a woman who knows the scriptures and knows the promises God has made. This is a woman who will stand up for the justice promoted in scripture even if it is unpopular or dangerous.

So how do you handle this view of Mary? Is this a new perspective for you?
In what ways do you see the Magnificat as a song about justice?
Do you think Jesus' constant emphasis on justice for the oppressed was something her learned from his mother?
How does this view of Mary inspire you?

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posted by Julie at 12:34 AM ¤ Permalink ¤


  • At 12/17/2007 03:57:00 PM, Blogger Weiwen Ng

    we know so little about Mary, and Mary Magdalene as well. as much as it hurts to say it, there were a lot of guys over the centuries who couldn't handle the truth, and thus wrote it out of the canon.

    and so, we have this magnificent exclamation by Mary. she says or does little else in the Bible - lots of things happen TO her, but she does little herself. the Magnificat is the place where she displays the most agency.

    something is going on with Mary. I don't know what exactly. certainly, she is as close as Christians come to an explicitly-identified female persona for God.

    Robert Lentz' icons of Mary speak volumes to me: Mary as Mother of the Disappeared (dressed like the Mothers of the Plaza del Mayo in Argentina), Mary as Apache and Navajo, Mary as Our Lady of Guadalupe. I encourage Protestants interested in liberation theology to investigate Our Lady of Guadalupe more closely; I think a lot of Protestants haven't heard of her, and I think a lot of Catholics are unaware of the liberation aspect to the story.


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