Yesterday, our brothers and sisters in the Roman Catholic Church celebrated the Assumption of Mary, the time when they believe Jesus’ mother was taken up in to heaven. Given that this feast day falls in the Summer months, many Catholic countries use the occasion to hold street festivals and parties.
Although the Anglican Church doesn’t honour the event, it nonetheless acknowledges the important role Mary played in God’s salvation plan for humankind. Hearing again this week of the time when Mary went to visit her cousin Elizabeth to share the news of their miraculous pregnancies, not only highlighted to me the role Mary played but it also helped me to understand something of her character. She put aside the anxiety that she was undoubtedly experiencing as a result of the wagging tongues in her community at the forthcoming birth of a child with dubious parentage, to celebrate with her cousin the longed for intervention of God into human history. Mary’s Song, (sometimes called the Magnificat), speaks of God being her saviour and the saviour of her people who has not forgotten the promise he made centuries beforehand to Abraham and his descendants that one day God would rescue his followers from all that denies their freedom and potential.
The theme of God’s rescue was also captured by our young actors in our Bible drama on Sunday as we continued our journey through the Book of Exodus, this time looking at Moses’ meeting with God at the burning bush. Unlike Mary who didn’t hesitate to accept the task that she was asked to take on by the Angel Gabriel, Moses came up with a whole load of excuses as to why he couldn’t go and confront the King of Egypt. We concluded that his excuses stemmed from his understandable fears. Although Mary was able to put hers to one side, we are all different and many of us, like Moses, when faced with God’s call to do or say something on his behalf might need the reassurance of God’s presence or even the physical presence of a friend or relative to give us the support that we need. The main thing is that we follow through with the call, trusting God with the challenges, unknown or imagined, that lie ahead.
Come and hear more about God’s rescue plan for his people (both those of yesterday and today!) in our service this Sunday. Breakfasts at 10.15 am are proving popular, so come early to make sure you don’t miss out!
See you soon,