Mother of God

Since this is one of the few times Protestants will actively discuss Mary, I'm going to take full advantage of it and post about her again today. After all, as a Roman Catholic priest once told me, every statement about Mary is a statement about Christ. Today, then, let's look at one of those statements which can make Protestants, especially evangelicals like us, uncomfortable: the simple phrase "Mary, Mother of God."

When the Early Church was discussing such things as the nature of Jesus, they came to understand he was both fully human and fully divine -- and if fully divine, then fully God. That affirmation led to Trinitarianism, our belief God exists eternally as three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and that all three of them are fully God in their own right. But this raised a question: if Jesus is God, but Jesus had a human birth, what does that make his human parent -- mother Mary?

Two camps quickly arose. One side wanted to call her "Mother of Christ." She didn't give birth to the Father or the Spirit, they argued, so she was really only the mother of the second Person, the Son, the Christ. The other side believed such a statement limited the Godhood of Jesus. If Jesus was fully God as they (rightly) believed, then he was more than just the Messiah, the "Anointed One" (the literal meaning of both "Messiah" and "Christ"). He was God, not just Christ, and Mary was his mother. The latter side won, and Mary was forever after Mary, Mother of God.

Keep this in mind at Christmas. Jesus was born of a woman, but he was, is, and ever shall be God Almighty, King of the Universe. He isn't only God's anointed, but Emmanuel, God with us.

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