Notes from Brother Jay

      We live in a very Protestant world.  Growing up in Moultrie, then Tifton, finding a Roman Catholic proved itself challenging.  Due to historical prejudice, many Roman Catholics kept their heads down, so to speak.   Some of you will remember John F. Kennedy’s election to the nation’s highest office caused quite a stir, because of his affiliation with the Church of Rome.  Nowadays it’s not that big a deal down here.  In other parts of America, it would be hard to find someone who wasn’t a Roman Catholic.   
      One reason the Protestant world finds difficulty with the Roman Church concerns the part Mary plays in their theology.  I don’t claim to understand all their theology, but I do know they maintained the evidence for all their mistakes.  If not for the Roman Catholic Church preserving everything, we wouldn’t have our Bible and many other historical writings and artifacts.
      I receive an email each morning called the Seedbed Daily Text.  This month Advent provided the topic.  Along with our Reset devotional I’m hearing the heart of God through these works.  Omar Al-Rakabi, the writer this month, is not someone I’m familiar with, but I trust Seedbed and J. D. Walt enough to pay attention. 
      In one of his offerings, “Why Mary matters to Us,”  Omar tells the story of Mary’s encounter with the angel Gabriel to inform her about the child in her womb.  Mary’s response, called The Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55), is famous the world over as her song of praise.
      Omar gives us a different perspective, suggesting Mary might be the first woman to preach the Gospel, even though she did it in song.  After hearing from the angel and talking with her cousin Elizabeth (mother of John the Baptist), Mary began to grasp the scope of God’s work through her.  Mary understands her life is about to change and she willingly accepts God’s calling saying, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” (Luke 1:38)
      Omar Al-Rikabi challenges us to acknowledge and accept the mystery of Advent, and like Mary, “to lay down our lives, entitlements, and reputations so the love of Christ can be formed in us, for the sake of the world.”
      Mary proved to be a wonderful proclaimer for the Gospel and a good mother to our Savior!

Merry Christmas!


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January 28-31, 2018

St. Simons Island Storytelling Festival
February 17-19, 2018

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