MFSA Advent Devotion Week 2
Scripture: Luke 1-26-28
by Elyse Ambrose

Title: Queer Mary (excerpt from the sermon, “Mary’s Advent: Queer Beginnings”

The advent season, each year, introduces us anew to Mary. This is not the pristine Mary. This is not the Mary with rich, white and blue garbs. This is not the Mary with porcelain skin and glassy blue eyes, rosy cheeks and a halo in tow. This is the Mary whose name is placed alongside a line of strange and disruptive women—Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba. This is queer Mary. And this is whom God chooses.

See Mary in her fullness—dark flesh, poor, woman, pregnant but not by her betrothed—Mary from small-town “Can anything good come out of” Nazareth.

What a queer choice.

And it’s in her queerness— not in spite of, but maybe because of this queerness that Mary is chosen, and creates space for all queer people (especially the queerest, most disruptive earthly force to spiritual and imperial, religious and social power of all – her son, Jesus).

If you are one of these queer ones, know that God needs to utilize your life for the miraculous and the subversive… no matter what others may think of your pedigree or abilities, if you yourself feel like an outsider or less than, and unworthy of or unable to bring about the amazing. Even if you had a rough start—because of poverty or abuse or mental illness. Or if you don’t yet know what you’re going to do or be when your grow up. Even if this coming administration pushes you even further to the margins, or if your health status is steeped in stigma. Know that you are enough, and these are the things that God will lift up, and not hide, in order to bring more and more fully God’s kin-dom.  

Not only are you beloved, but you are powerful and full of possibility just as you are.

Then there are others of us who are rarely queer. And that’s reality. This season invites you to examine your privilege and power and how it might be used for God and neighbor. This season invites you to look anew to those whom God has chosen time and again, and see God in the unexpected ones. In this season, you’re invited to choose to stand with the Mary’s of this world even when its unpopular, inconvenient, costly.

As we hope and expect in this Advent season, let’s not look only to this faith moment when a woman and God bring a man who is Christ into this world. Let us put our hope and expectation in God who chooses the one who is despised, and put down, and erased—the queer—so that we all can live more meaningfully, more justly, and more lovingly. May it be so.

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