August 15, 2008

Assumption of Mary

Today is the Feast of Mary's Assumption. The early church struggled with how to understand the mother of Jesus, the son of God. Could she have a sin nature?

I like to understand how other people think, so I 'listen' to what is said by the Roman Catholic Church.


There are biblical stories of persons being 'assumed' into heaven: Enoch and Elijah and Jesus; Joel alludes to Moses being taken or buried by God. So such things can happen. But what about Mary?






There is a story told: Mary died in the presence of others, and later when they checked her tomb, her body was gone. It is called the "glorious assumption" of Mary, assuming she was taken up to heaven. Revelation 11:19-12:1 is a scripture used to help this premise.




Mary was a virgin. The Church had a belief that normal conception through sex was 'dirty', too much 'matter'. They couldn't believe that God could choose to have Jesus born from a woman conceived in 'sin', so they developed the idea that she was immaculately conceived and thus sinless. And because sin's consequences are disease, aging, and death, then Mary's end must have been abnormal.



The idea that Mary had to be sinless is where I have problems. God loved me before I ever 'cleaned up my act' for Him! In Jesus' genealogy (I've posted on this) God chose to include four
women of questionable reputation, and we see Jesus reaching out to just such 'outcasts' - loving them into the kingdom!




I'm posting a lot of art depicting the assumption of Mary.




Maybe it's been something to hold on to - that we too, will be received into paradise. Jesus told Martha, "Your brother shall rise again." "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day." And Jesus continued, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"

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