Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Many Protestants discovering devotion to Mary

Columbia, S.C, Nov. 09, 2005 (CNA) - They’re praying the rosary, holding Bible studies which look at Mary as a model of Christian holiness, and wearing trendy t-shirts emblazoned with things like ‘Mary is my home girl.’ The odd thing is that they’re Protestant.

The State, a South Carolina newspaper recently reported that devotion to Mary is on the rise--particularly among non-Catholics.

Although there are still theological divides on the proper role of Mary, a study released by Anglican and Catholic church leaders in May, suggested that the Blessed Virgin ought to be an important figure of devotion for all Christians...

Read Full Story Here

Yes, many Protestants are discovering that Catholics aren't so crazy after all. In fact, some of my Baptist friends are finding their church's silence on Mary quite puzzling. The Scriptures present her as the most devout and holy woman to ever walk the face of the earth. Her act of submission to God allowed her to become the vessel through which our beloved Savior entered the world.

Biblically speaking, the very flesh and blood of Jesus come from Mary. The Scriptures tell us he was her Son (Matthew 1:25), and her "Seed" (Genesis 3:15). The term "seed" is a physical term, denoting blood lineage. Today, we would just as easily use the terms "genes" and "DNA" to describe the same thing. Yes, the Scriptures are telling us that Jesus bore Mary's genetic code, just as all children carry their parents DNA. The very flesh and blood of Jesus, which suffered on that cross at Calvary, was inherited from his mother -- Mary.

In Jewish culture, it was the mothers who were charged with the religious instruction of a child up to the age of twelve. So from Mary, Jesus learned not only his first words and his first steps, but also the teaching of the Mosaic Law (the Torah) and how it applied to the world around him. Much of Jesus' teachings can be seen in Mary's words uttered in the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55) long before Jesus was ever born. As our Savior's first teacher; truly she was a remarkable woman.

Speaking of the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55), some of my Baptist friends have found it odd that most of their fellow Baptists scoff Catholics use of the "Hail Mary" prayer. Especially when so much of it is Biblical...

Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. (Luke 1:28)
Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb (Luke 1:42)
Holy Mary, Mother of God, (John 1:1, 14)
Pray for us sinners, (Revelation 5:8; 8:3-4)
Now and at the hour of our death.

Granted, I don't yet know any Baptists who actually use this prayer themselves, but I do know some who understand where we Catholics are coming from when we pray it, and they agree with the Biblical premises behind it. It's nice to see that Mary is finally starting to get her rightful honor among some Protestants, and I hope to see this trend continue in the years to come.