Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Marys

When you think about Jesus or the Bible and someone says "Mary" usually one of two things will come to mind: Mary the mother of Christ or Mary Magdalene. One Mary is the woman we should all strive to be, but who is the other Mary?

I would argue she's the woman we should all strive to be as well.

We all know that Mary, Jesus' mother, was born without sin and is the model for all womanhood. Mary Magdalene, however, was born a regular person. She was born with original sin, and she continued to sin throughout her life... because she was a regular person. Some historians even say she was a prostitute, although maybe she wasn't, but even if she wasn't, she was still a sinner. Mary Magdalene, I'm sure, made mistakes she regretted, felt horrible about them, and then probably made the same mistakes again. Even after she met Jesus, I'm sure she still made mistakes and committed sins she regretted.

The thing about her that we need to remember most is that she had faith. She believed in Jesus and she followed him. She was present at his feet when he taught, and she was present at his feet when he died. Did her relationship with Jesus make her a perfect person? No it didn't. It made her a sinner who knew she sinned and knew she needed Jesus.

I often like to think of Mary Magdalene because I, too, am a perpetual sinner. I have done things I'm ashamed of and things I'd never want people to know about. I sin every day and some sins are the same ones committed over and over, although I wish they were not. The important part is not to let the sin define me or allow the guilt to take over. The important part is to follow Mary Magdalene's example and acknowledge I'm a sinner and sit at the feet of Jesus and ask for help.

I'll never be a perfect person. I'll let myself down and fall short on mostly a daily basis. But God doesn't expect us to be perfect; he expects us to own up to our shortcomings and failures and remember that we can only rely on him. When Anna is in charge of Anna's life, nothing goes right. But when God is in charge of Anna's life, there is peace.

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