22nd December 2019 – ’Mary the mother of God’.

December 20, 2019 Pastor Matt Bishop

The fourth and final advent theme we consider this year concerns Mary, Jesus’ mother. I’ve decided to go with how the Lutheran Confessions refer to her as ‘Mary the Mother God’ (it’s in the book of Concord).* It might surprise you the Lutheran writings refer to Mary this way. After all, we don’t pray to Mary as we know we can go directly to Jesus (1 John 2:1; Mark 15:38). We don’t have statues of her… they were seen as at best a distraction to where our focus needs to be. So isn’t Mary the mother of God way over the top? Not if you want to make the point in the strongest possible way that Jesus is both true man and true God, and so that if we want to be assured that God really is for us, then we need look no further than what we hear and see of Jesus: living, dying and rising for us. Also here in this place today as all of God as we receive him in the body and blood of the bread and wine at the Lord’s Supper. It’s always a good time to remember this; no less so than when we remember God coming in human form in the the infant Jesus at Christmas: ‘conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary’.
*Specifically, paragraph 12 of Epitome, Article VIII, Person of Christ in the Formula of Concord in the Book of Concord or ‘Epit 8, 12’ for the purists!