Mary the Revolutionary
Mary is surely the meek and mild Mother of Jesus, who sits by with perfect hair, as her Son turns the world upside down... But hang on, surely the woman who carried the Baby who would become the Man who would shake the world had a bit more to her than a serene smile?
For starters, read the song commonly called the Magnificat, recorded in Luke 1v46-56. Did you see verses 50-53?
-- His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.
-- He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
-- He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.
-- He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.
Not exactly meek and mild. Echoes of her Son in Luke 4v18-19 where He proclaims a similatly topsy turvey world. Good news for the poor and the blind; setting the oppresed free!
If we follow Mary and Jesus, surely we should have the same edge to our voice? One reason I went into Psychiatry as a career is that it makes me very angry when I see people with mental health problems getting a raw deal. And I mean angry - not Mr Christian Nice Guy Angry. This is the fire in my belly that drives the work I do with Mind and Soul.
What stirs you to action? What is your complaint? What makes you righteously angry? But don't just shout, don't even stop at singing a song - give birth to something instead!
-- Can you comment on this article or share it with others?
-- Can you write to your MP?
-- Can you text or email a friend who needs encouragement?
Mental Illness is not something that can be taken away with passion and energy. It is something that, like other illnesses, will be with us until we are taken to a better place. But it is something that a bit of community buzz can improve. We can challenge the wrongs, we can champion the rights - and we can love people just where they are.
Merry Christmas, and a revolutionary New Year ;-)
[inspired by a sermon by Thomas Dean]