Daily Office Readings for Friday of Proper 13: Year 2
Morning, Psalm 88: Evening, Psalms 91 and 92;
Judges 9:1-16,19-21; Acts 4:13-31; John 2:2-12
“His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.” (John 2: 5)
I confess, I am a Mary fan. I even get the words for my blog from her lips. Twice in the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible, she says that she “ponders” in her heart, according to the Gospel of Luke. When the angel Gabriel informs her that God wants her to be the God-bearer of God Incarnate, she “Pondered” what kind of greeting this might be. Luke 1: 29. And when the shepherds told her about what the angels told them regarding the baby she just gave birth to, she “treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19 NRSV)
Mary was a thinking person, a pondering person. Perhaps it was this pondering quality that impressed God and why God chose her to be the Mother of our Lord Jesus. Mary gave birth to her Lord who in turn gave her eternal salvation, and also to us today who believe.
We will learn as we read the Gospels that Jesus can multiply fishes and loaves. Therefore, Mary never ran out of food during the thirty or so years that she shared a house with her Son. All she had to do was ask, and it was done. We can see then that when the wedding hosts ran out of wine, it was natural for Mary to let Jesus know about the situation with full expectation that he would respond. This too is true for us today. We must ask with full expectation that our Lord Jesus will respond, but the response requires our obedience.
While Jesus sort of rebuffs her requests, she has already turned away from him and looking intently into the eyes of the “servants”, into our eyes, and she says to us, “Do whatever he tells you.” For me, this is the most powerful, albeit shortest, sermon in the Bible. All we need to do is make our needs known and then do whatever he tells us. From Mary, I learn that as Christians, we ponder, we pray and we obey.
“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done” (Genesis 2:1 and 2). So, for this evening and tomorrow day my friends, Shabbat Shalom.
What is Shabbat? Intro to the Jewish Sabbath – YouTube
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John
One thought on “Pondering for Friday, August 5, 2022”
Mary has always been one of my favorite saints. My devotion to her began when I became a Roman Catholic at 17. The Hail Mary was (and still is) said daily. I attended Mass on all her feast days. When I became an Episcopalian at 30 I happened to join an Anglo-Catholic church devoted to Mary: Church of St. Mary the Virgin (aka Smoky Mary’s — due to the heavy use of incense. I was one of the thurifers who put out great smoke 😁). That church celebrated the Marian feasts on their actual feast days, instead of moving them to Sundays. I like that because I feel that the meaning behind holidays/feast days is lost when we move those days to days of convenience (Sundays and/or Mondays).
Mary is one of the women in the Bible who shows us that she is strong in her faith. She immediately trusts the angel Gabriel that the message of her becoming the mother of Jesus was a message from God. I love her example. In the face of being denigrated for being pregnant before being married — a no-no at that time and in that culture, Mary chose to go with it. She could have said ” No”. God gives us free will. As a woman, I appreciate her strength; Mary is an excellent role model. People choose to say no all the time by willingly engaging in activities that are displeasing to God: murder, ignoring your neighbor, stealing, lying, to name a few. Even though she and Joseph were Jewish (as was Jesus), in a way she was the first Christian. She honored God’s request to bear Jesus and in essence followed Christian precepts, and simultaneously maintained the positive aspects of the Jewish culture. I wish we knew more about her. For a young peasant girl, she did alright.