For Reformed Christians celebrating Advent we read this week
Luke 1:26-38 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.If you didn't notice, Mary's first supernatural encounter was with an Angel. If you know your OT, angels didn't always mean something good. They were there to destroy Sodom and Gomoroah, in Isaiah an angel destroyed an army, and well, lets just say the list goes on. But on this occasion, angels delivered a message about a long awaited Savior. So why are people still talking about his Mom?
What is the lady of Guadelupe? If you follow Wikipedia it states:
Sad to say, to this day you will hear more of the the lady of Guadelupe, and less of Christ on spanish TV this time of year. Even now I've already heard many announcements on Spanish TV (thanks to my Dad's TV habits) advertising one event or another involving the lady. (SOmeting we would never do in the US if you think about it). Can anyone discredit the apparitions that Juan Diego had of the lady? I don't know. I do know, that when you let a miraculous experience alone guide your religious life, you end up with Mormonism!
Our Lady of Guadalupe, also called the Virgin of Guadalupe (Spanish: Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe or Virgen de Guadalupe) is a 16th century Roman Catholic icon from Mexico representing a Marian apparition. It is perhaps Mexico's most popular religious and cultural image. Our Lady of Guadalupe's feast day is celebrated on 12 December, commemorating the account of her appearances to Saint Juan Diego on the hill of Tepeyac near Mexico City from 9 through 12 December 1531.
The Virgin of Guadalupe is a symbol of significant importance to Catholics. She is recognized as "Patroness of the Americas". The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City is the second most visited Roman Catholic shrine in the world.
The Virgin of Guadalupe has also symbolized the Mexican nation since the Mexican War of Independence. Both Miguel Hidalgo and Emiliano Zapata's armies traveled underneath Guadalupan flags, and Our Lady of Guadalupe is generally recognized as a symbol of all Mexicans. The Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes once said that "...one may no longer consider himself a Christian, but you cannot truly be considered a Mexican unless you believe in the Virgin of Guadalupe."
More so, the real question to ask is this: what would Mary have wanted us to do with her and her son? Thankfully when we come to the Bible, we are not left without an answer. Today's Advent reading tells us:
John 2:1-11 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.
Two things to note. After the gospels, she is never mentioned again. James the brother of Christ is however. Also, note that this was written by John. If you recall, Jesus asked John to care for his mother at the cross. John 19:26-27 says
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said, " Woman, behold your son!". Then he said to the disciple, "Behold your mother!" And from that hour, the disciple took her into his own home.John tells us about Mary and Jesus' encounter at Canaan. Having lived with the woman, if he had wanted to add anything else about Mary, this was the time. John did record her words from that day at the wedding, words we would do well to live by: do what Jesus commands. She pointed to him, not to herself.