Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mother of Whom?

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Isa 7:14) 
Immanuel. God with us.

I asked the question, and the question was asked back to me: Is Mary the mother of God?

It is an enigma shrouded in mystery. It leads to confusion on multiple parts of the brain.

There is the chicken and egg problem. How could someone be the mother of the person who created her?

There is the time and space problem. How could the infinite be "born" of the finite?

There are multiple theological problems. How could the holiness of God be present within the confines of a sinful nature? How could a mere human presume to claim such an important role over God Himself?

It boggles our human brains, brains which have been honed and refined by the Enlightenment. Our reason has been sharpened to such a fine blade that mystery is sliced into unrecognizable shreds and the truths it contains thrown out as rubbish.

So fine a blade that we even reject our own Enlightened modes of thinking, for example that if A=B and B=C then A=C.

When boggled and muddled with mystery, our minds go into a tailspin focused on rejecting the question altogether so as to simply make the confusion go away.

I get this. But it makes me sad.

Luke fades to black prior to Mary's being overshadowed by God. She was the only human witness to that event, and apparently didn't believe it was a matter for public consumption when she passed the event along for the record book. And so He trusts us to contemplate the moment, the method, the union.

The theme of marital union with Him is stressed from Genesis through Revelation. He gives us scriptural example after example of His view of what His bride must be like. Pure. Spotless. Reverent. Holy. He speaks to us about how the two become one when they consummate the marriage covenant. He promises us that we become one with the Body of Christ. John speaks to us of the marriage feast we will celebrate when the final trumpet calls.

Marriage, marriage, marriage.


Behold, a virgin shall conceive. In her body. When she is overshadowed by the Holy Spirit.

Gabriel, the friend of the Bridegroom comes to tell her He is on His way. And then, fade to black.

But here's what I envision, as I use the vehicle of imagining that the Father provided for this purpose.

Gabriel leaves. The Holy Spirit descends, overshadows her, wraps her in His wings. He steps into time and space and sweeps her into the scenes of the Song of Songs.

1:2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth
— for your love is more delightful than wine.
3 Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes;
 your name is like perfume poured out.
 No wonder the young women love you!
 4 Take me away with you—let us hurry!
 Let the king bring me into his chambers.

 2:14 My dove in the clefts of the rock,
 in the hiding places on the mountainside,
 show me your face, let me hear your voice;
 for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.

16 My beloved is mine and I am his; he browses among the lilies.
17 Until the day breaks and the shadows flee,
 turn, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or like a young stag on the rugged hills.

4:1 How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful!
 Your eyes behind your veil are doves.
 Your hair is like a flock of goats descending from the hills of Gilead.
 2 Your teeth are like a flock of sheep just shorn, coming up from the washing.
 Each has its twin; not one of them is alone.
 3 Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon; your mouth is lovely.
 Your temples behind your veil are like the halves of a pomegranate.
 4 Your neck is like the tower of David, built with courses of stone
 on it hang a thousand shields, all of them shields of warriors.
 5 Your breasts are like two fawns, like twin fawns of a gazelle that browse among the lilies.
 6 Until the day breaks and the shadows flee,
 I will go to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of incense.
 7 You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.
 8 Come with me from Lebanon, my bride, come with me from Lebanon.
 Descend from the crest of Amana,
 from the top of Senir, the summit of Hermon,
 from the lions’ dens and the mountain haunts of leopards. 
9 You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride;
 you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes,
 with one jewel of your necklace.
 10 How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride!
 How much more pleasing is your love than wine,
 and the fragrance of your perfume more than any spice!
 11 Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride;
 milk and honey are under your tongue.
 The fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon.
 12 You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride;
 you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain.
 13 Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates with choice fruits, with henna and nard,
 14 nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon,
 with every kind of incense tree, with myrrh and aloes and all the finest spices.
 15 You are a garden fountain, a well of flowing water streaming down from Lebanon.

She is His bride, as we will be some day. She is the first of the brides to come. She becomes one with Him, and conceives.

As a result of this union, this overshadowing, this indwelling, she conceives.

And the who of this conception is the Word. Immanuel. God with us.

Mary, mother of Immanuel. Mary, mother of God with us.

Mary, mother of God.

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