Surprising Protestants About Mary

The instructor, a Presbyterian, called my choice to preach about Mary “bold.”

We were asked to choose a piece of scripture and then deliver a ten-minute sermon. Because it was the start of Advent, I chose the annunciation from Luke’s gospel. To me, Mary’s calm and passive acceptance of what was about to happen to her seemed somewhat odd. After contemplating the passage, I decided to read aloud some of her response verbatim, but employ a tone of incredulity, bewilderment, and perhaps even sarcasm. I’ll spare you the details of an otherwise forgettable sermon, but my choice to characterize Mary as surprised and perhaps hesitant made a mark on my Protestant peers, whose characterization of Catholics included a belief that we hold Mary on such a lofty pedestal that she is, perhaps, free from human emotion.

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