Jesus’ first teacher
We Protestants have a mom issues. You see we tend to downplay the whole – Jesus had a mom – thing because somehow we find that threatening? (We really have dad issues on this subject too… but that’s really for another day.) We have to differentiate ourselves from the Catholics? I don’t really know… but I do know we spend far too little time with Mary… frankly any of the Marys, but today I’m thinking about Mary, the mother of Jesus.
We pastors and educators are fond of repeating time and again that parents are their childrens’ number one educator. This is true about a great many things (I just spend twenty minutes quizzing Warren on spelling words until he was sure to get the “ro” in the right order on astronaut and the “sa” included in the word sausage) but it is especially true of faith. I heard once that our primary image of God for our life is formed by the time we are five years old. Wow.
Five years old = who God will be for you most of your life.
Can we change that? Sure… but it takes hard work. Who is primarily responsible for forming that image? Our parents. This means, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not, that Mary is Jesus’ teacher long before Jesus sets out to teach anyone else.
In his book The Jesus Way, author Eugene Peterson says that Mary says a prayer in her initial angelic greeting, “Let it be with me according to your will.” He then says he imagines this was a primary prayer for Mary and that she passes it on to Jesus in childhood because it shows up again… in the garden of Gethsemane, in the mouth of her son. “Yet, not my will but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)
Mary taught Jesus… what does Mary teach you? What did your mom and dad teach you about God, faith, and the struggles to live that faith? What spiritual parents helped you to have a life prayer to fall back on when times are tough? Jesus did it – and that is a pretty high recommendation!