Friday, 15 August 2014

Should Christians obey Mary, Mother of Jesus?

Should Christians obey Mary, mother of Jesus?  I ask that today because it is the festival of The Blessed Virgin Mary. Some Christians may raise hands in horror at the idea of obeying Mary.

Many years ago I was stopped in my tracks by something I read about Mary. I think it was in a book by John Gunstone, an Anglo-Catholic priest in the Church of England. When asked about his attitude to the Blessed Virgin Mary, he replied, "I obey her".

I found this shocking, until I understood what he meant. This was a reference to the only instruction Mary gave that is recorded in the gospels. She was at a wedding in Cana with her son Jesus when the wine ran out - a social disaster (See John 2: 1 - 11). Mary instructed the servants,
"Do whatever he (Jesus) tells you."
And they did. Water became wine as the first John's gospel's signs revealing Jesus' glory.

What Jesus told the servants to do at that wedding was simple - fill up water jars, draw some out and take it to the chief steward to taste. They might have felt silly but the task was not especially hard. And on that occasion obeying Mary by obeying her son Jesus brought great joy.

Some of the things Jesus asks his followers to do seem simple, like giving a cup of water to someone who is thirsty. Some seem much harder. Just think of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5 - 7) for starters.
  • love your enemies
  • pray for those who persecute you
  • do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth
  • do not worry
  • do not judge
Should Christians obey Mary, mother of Jesus? Yes, in the sense of following her instructions to the servants at the wedding of Cana and doing whatever Jesus tells us. If only we could learn better to practice hearing and doing what he says. 

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