Its 2012 and a young, unwed, pregnant girl is looked at with disgrace, disdain and derision.
It's 2012 and the mother of a condemned criminal is looked at with disgrace, disdain and derision.
What is wrong with this girl?
What is wrong with this woman?
Where did she go wrong?
She must be a bad person.
It's easy to talk. It's easy to judge.
Conviction without trial, instant judgment.
Relief that we are not in her shoes.

Two thousand years ago a young, unwed, pregnant girl was looked at with disgrace, disdain, and derision.
Two thousand years ago the mother of a condemned criminal was looked at with dis-grace, disdain, and derision. What was wrong with this Mary from Nazareth?
Where did she go wrong?
She must be a bad person.
God must not look upon her with favor.
She was talked about and judged and convicted without trial.
She was a young girl shrouded in scandal
who grew up to be a mother shrouded in scandal.
Her life was a challenge from the very beginning.
Mary, you’re going to be the Mother of God;
Mary you’re going to become pregnant before you get married and from someone other than your husband;
Mary you’re going to have to travel while pregnant and give birth to the Son of God in a cave;
Mary your Son is going to be judged, hated, condemned, and eventually nailed to a cross like a common criminal.

And what is Mary’s response?
What does Mary do?
She sings.
"My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name."
She sings God’s praises with joy and gratitude.
She sings how God has shown favor to her.
She sings how God has blessed her and has been good to her, so good in fact, that generations to come will recognize it too.

Gratitude in the face of hardship.
Fidelity in the face of fear.
Trust in the face of uncertainty.
Mary recognizes that God is her Savior,
that God is being faithful to God's promise and she sings
"He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

Mary is witness to God’s fidelity, to God’s faithfulness. She gave birth to God's Son—God fulfilling God’s promise. She witnessed our salvation—God fulfilling God’s promise. She waited with the Apostles for the coming of the Holy Spirit—God fulfilling God’s promise.
Mary lived, breathed, literally embodied God's promise to the world, to us.
And God being faithful to God’s promise is what sustained Mary—it trumped every-thing else going on—
her challenges and hardships,
her suffering and pain,
her difficult life.
The Mother of God lived on the margins of society,
but wherever we find her we find God,
whenever we hear her speak she is praising God,
her entire life is oriented towards God, towards her Son, towards salvation, towards God’s promise to the world.

Two thousand years ago, a young, unwed, pregnant girl was looked at with disgrace, disdain, and derision.

It’s 2012 and today we celebrate this girl, this woman, Mary, no longer disgraced, but full of grace.

We celebrate and honor her because of who she is, because of her fidelity and trust in God.
We celebrate her because of what God has done for her. We celebrate her because she lived her life in gratitude, in song, in praise, in blessing, in recognition that God is faithful to God’s promise.

In just a minute, we sing Mary’s song together. We join her in gratitude, in praise, in blessing, in recognition that God is faithful to God’s promise.
Amen.