During the holidays, the five-year-old was showing his little brother around the Christmas display at the church. "Here are the shepherds," he explained knowledgeably, "and there are the sheep and the cows and the wise men. And here is Mary, she's Jesus' mother. And that's Mary's husband, Virg." A teacher, who was nearby, overheard and offered a correction. "Mary's husband was named Joseph, dear," she said, "not Virg." The five-year-old wrinkled his brow. "Then how come," he wanted to know, "the preacher always talks about Virg and Mary?" (James Dent in Charleston, W.Va. Gazette)
I felt a little bit like we were ditching class, but I agreed to skip Friday evening of the writer's conference and drive up to Santa Fe with several other faculty members. I rationalized that I could use a break from shop talk and knew that I'd love to get some green chile while back in New Mexico.
The food was good, but the fellowship was better. One of my good friends, a native New Mexican exiled in Nashville, served as tour guide. Though I'd lived in New Mexico for almost five years, I listened with fascination as he talked about the history and culture of the Land of Enchantment. It wasn't the information that kept me spellbound; it was his passion.
One leg of the tour, however, I found uncomfortable-a stroll through a historic Catholic Church. As we entered, I noticed a class in an adjacent room and was happy to see praying people sprinkled throughout the building. Yeah, the confessional booths and statues made me feel a little uneasy, but I overcame the uneasiness to enjoy the distinct architecture and superior craftsmanship of the historic building-it was impressive.
I was really enjoying the tour until we meandered into a room that contained an shrine to Mary. Beneath the artist's rendition of our Lord's Mother knelt a woman who was obviously praying to Mary. I couldn't get out of there fast enough.
I've known for years that some Catholics pray to Mary, but knowing it and seeing it is two different things. How sad that people misunderstand the Christmas story and worship Mary instead of her Son.
This morning, our message is not about Virg and Mary, and neither is it about the Virgin Mary, it is about Mary's treasure.
We know about the treasures that the Wise Men gave Jesus; Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh. But how much thought have we given to Mary's treasure? Today's text says, "But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart." (Luke 2:19 NASB)
When Susan came home from
Stephen's baby shower, she brought baby clothes, toys, diapers, and other
"baby stuff," but she also had a special gift from a special friend that
was just for her. When Susan was a pre-teen, Fudge Okamatchi was her adult
prayer partner. Every day, Fudge Thank you for reading
the free preview of this sermon. The full
manuscript is available to Premium
use these resources in their ministry.