Yesterday I visited the blog Preshinspires, Precious followed me two weeks ago and because I had data issues and travelled out of Lagos last weekend, I was finally able to check out her blog yesterday. She’s a teacher who loves her job- she calls it a calling and I’m so impressed by that, you see my dad is a teacher and I know how awesome that job is and I find it sad that these guys are usually underappreciated.
She ran an awesome series on her blog last year- Redefining femininity and while I loved the series, I disagreed with some of the points raised especially about the subtle feminism bashing and how feminism is at odds with Christianity. I find that odd because the first feminist in the world has got to be Jesus Christ.
It was he who in that time of oppression and domination of women decided to have female followers, who performed his first miracle at the behest of his mother even when it wasn’t time for his manifestation, it was he who allowed the sinful woman wash his feet with her hair and anoint him with perfumed oil. The same Jesus had women as his best friends- Mary and Martha and his first appearance after his resurrection was to women. Most importantly, when the holy spirit came- the same Holy Spirit that was promised by Jesus, the power came on everyone male and female.
I’ve written about my feelings on that subject before in this post however there was something that struck me when I was thinking the dismal representation of women in the bible. There are only five women recorded in the genealogy of Jesus; Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba and of course Mary. There’s a book by Francine Rivers- a Lineage Of Grace that profiles these extraordinary women who were counted worthy enough to be mentioned by name in the genealogy. When I first read the book, it occurred to me that most of the men who were mentioned in the genealogy were just ordinary men who didn’t make any impact in history apart from being sperm donors on the route to Jesus but these women were phenomenal and outstanding. Enough of my rant, let’s get to the koko of the post.
Mary was a young virgin and was engaged to a carpenter whose name was Joseph, she was religious, pious and loved God. She came from a country where the mere suggestion that a woman had sex with a man who wasn’t her husband was enough to get her killed, even being seen with a man who her family didn’t approve of could lead to her death too. if you think of the middle east with their women trampling cultures and honour killings, you’re also thinking of the Israel at the time of Jesus.
It is at that time that an angel appeared to Mary and told her she would bear a child without knowing a man. My first response would have been “God forbid”, my second would be “I reject it” and my last response would have undoubtedly been “back to sender”. These are my responses in 2015, how much more in 3AD? I would have gone in search of malaria herbs because the angel must be a result of malaria induced hallucination.
Yet she said yes, not minding that it was literally signing her death warrant or the mockery from the people of the city she lived in. Think of this- a very religious/spiricoco sister gets pregnant, what would be your first thought?… be honest. Wouldn’t you think- those spiritual sisters are pretenders, they like to pretend they’re all holy and next to God but they’re no better than most of us, in fact they’re probably much worse.
I’m the first child of my parents and their only daughter, it would break their hearts if I got pregnant out of wedlock even in these times that such things are not quite taboo anymore. Just thinking of my mother’s disappointment makes me shudder, yet Mary endured all that at a time that is radically different. Besides that if I did get pregnant, it would be because I enjoyed the “pleasures” of sex and the romantic love that we like to think that we can’t live without. Again, Mary didn’t even get to enjoy that. It was just impartation and gbam! A baby in her womb.
Have you ever been cheated on by the person you love and are in a romantic relationship with? It’s one of the most painful experiences in the whole world. Let’s make it more interesting, what if there’s a pregnancy involved? How would you feel? Not so good right? What if that person tells you a ridiculous excuse like “an angel appeared to me and told me I’d be pregnant and voila!”… Joseph must have loved Mary very much, he even wanted to quietly divorce her so as to save her life. If that isn’t love then I don’t know what is, how many of us can love this selflessly? I’m sure a few of us would run to the market square and announce the news, it would be pleasing to see her being punished for her crime.
Yet she endured all that and more so that the Scripture might be fulfilled, today we reap the benefits of her immense sacrifice. Whether or not you believe in Jesus and his transforming power, you will agree that the religion that is based on his teaching has vastly improved our world and it is all because Mary said Yes.
When next you’re faced with a tough decision that has implications for the greater good… Think of Mary.
Have a fabulous week everyone and don’t forget to shine the light wherever you are. I’m currently sitting in the living room of a house in Chevron estate and I’m getting inspired towards becoming a billionaire. The question is how do I become one?!