And no, I don't mean the movie (although I certainly enjoyed it).
This Sunday the service is about Mary. I have this deep-seated belief that we don't spend enough time on Mary in the Protestant tradition. She is, more or less, a prop; something we need for the Christmas story to happen but not all that important otherwise. But whenever I read Luke chapter 1 I am struck by the strength that underlies her words.
Sometimes I wonder, what would have happened if Mary had said "No thanks" instead of "let it be with me according to your word". What grace, what strength to say "Ok, I will be pregnant when I shouldn't be. I will carry the child, despite the hazards."
Then we come to her visit with Elizabeth (who also shows signs of great strength but this week it is all about Mary). To begin with, as Luke writes his Gospel Mary is in Nazareth and Elizabeth is in the hill country of Judea--not a small trip! And then, when she could be forgiven for being ashamed and afraid, Mary sings her song. And what a song! Luke may not call Mary a prophet but this passage shows her as a truth-teller, as hope-filled, as Spirit-filled. She is a prophet.
It is easy to look at Mary as this meek, obedient servant of God. She takes on the task thrust upon her and then, on the evening of the child's birth, sits and ponders all that has happened. But there is so much more there. There is definitely something about Mary...