Mary was a 'she'
She matters. Without a ‘she’ and a ‘he’, we wouldn’t be we. They wouldn’t be they. You and I wouldn’t be. Period.
We live in a culture that is increasingly more hopeless and meaningless because of the determination to be genderless. Our sex/gender are determined by our DNA, but anytime we deny God’s design for humanity, disaster always follows.
We live in a culture so obsessed with self that our national religion might as well be narcissism. Too many want to live a life of boundless “freedom,” regardless of how their lives or actions negatively affect others. People want to make up false “authentic” (yet drastically altered) selves and demand that the world see them through broken filters. Social media platforms, academics, news media and politicians amplify this cult of selfishness by advancing policies that try to silence any (informed) dissent.
We’re not avatars living in some make-believe world. We’re all bound by the same scientific and moral laws. This is reality. Tragically, many have no use for what actually is. They want to conjure up a surreality untethered from facts and consequences.
But truth can never be silenced. It will always find a way to cry out. It’s why my wife and I wrote the ground-breaking children’s book She is She, to celebrate undeniable, biological, beautiful her. We’re definitely not good at being quiet.
Mary was a ‘she’, and of course, she knew it. She understood that it was humanly impossible to become pregnant without sex, hence the response to the angel Gabriel: “How will this be, since I am a virgin and have no intimacy with any man?” Several thousand years ago, this basic science was understood. She recognized her beautiful biological differences.
The Savior of the world needed a woman, a mother, a female to carry Him in a supernatural pregnancy and bring Him into the world. She mattered. All of us enter into this life through the natural process of pregnancy that can only occur in those designed to conceive. Women. “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus,” the angel explained in Luke 1:31.
Gabriel didn’t approach Joseph and offer a gender-bending twist. Certainly, God can operate in any miraculous way He chooses, but He adhered to His design for sexuality. He used their marital relationship to make possible our path to salvation.
Mary was no frail female. She understood the dangers — in normal circumstances — of becoming pregnant “outside” of her marriage with Joseph. She could’ve been publicly shamed, even worse, stoned. What courage for her to agree to play an integral role in God’s plan: “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” Her level of self-sacrifice defies the narcissism of our age.
A Savior was born because she was she. Mary chose the gift of motherhood. She trusted in the Lord to help navigate through the humanly “unplanned.” There was no “how-to” book on this. She clung to the angel’s words: “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”
A Savior was born because He was He. Joseph chose the gift of fatherhood. He could’ve been a rejecter but became a protector instead. Both of their lives were in constant peril under Roman rule, under a demented King who wanted to kill their child, and under the tremendous inconceivable weight of raising the Son of the Most High.
This Easter, we get to celebrate how God used a mother and a father to change the world forever. We get to rejoice because they went to great lengths to protect Him, love Him, and release Him into His ministry. We get to be redeemed because God loved us so much, that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to die for our sins in the most brutal death one could imagine. He rose again to prove there is no power stronger than the Way, the Truth and the Life.
Love breaks through confusion. Love breaks through hopelessness. Love breaks through anything to get to our hearts.
Like the Lord reassured Paul the Apostle in a hostile environment: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent.” Trends change. Culture changes. But truth never does. God’s heart for rescuing and redeeming the broken always remains the same.
And like Mary said in The Magnificat (or Mary’s Song): “My soul magnifies and exalts the Lord. And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.” Yes, we’re all sinners in need of a Savior.
Ryan Bomberger is the Chief Creative Officer and co-founder of The Radiance Foundation. He is happily married to his best friend, Bethany, who is the Executive Director of Radiance. They are adoptive parents with four awesome kiddos. Ryan is an Emmy Award-winning creative professional, factivist, international public speaker and author of NOT EQUAL: CIVIL RIGHTS GONE WRONG. He loves illuminating that every human life has purpose.