Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Virgin Mary sighting in Water Stain

As your average, run-o-the-mill Protestant, I guess I've never really understod the fervor some people put into devotion towards Mary, the mother of Jesus. I don't even get calling her the Virgin Mary, since, well, by all accounts, she isn't a virgin anymore.

Let me state up front that I consider myself a devout Christian, so please don't think I'm being flippant here, but what's the big deal? Mary wasn't divine. She was chosen, and honored above all women, but she wasn't Divinity, right?

So when people flock to see a water stain on an overpass which may or may not bear an interesting resemblance towards someone who might be construed to be a woman of middle-eastern descent in an attitude of prayer, and get all breathless about it, I'm a little stumped.

Jesus Christ himself is our intercessor. The curtain of the tabernacle was torn from top to bottom that we might all enter into the presence of God. Why, then, do I need to seek the intercession of Mary, or any of the other Saints, if I can talk directly with God himself?

And another thing. Why the devotional frenzy over condensation on windows, discolored paint, cinnamon rolls that look like Mother Thereasa, french toast with the face of Jesus, or whatever? Our God is the God of wonder and majesty, of pillars of fire, and parting the Reed sea. Plagues and locusts and spinning entire universes together out of nothing. I guess I figure if God is gonna send a sign, it's probably going to be something more like feeding 5,000 people with a few loaves and fishes, not a paint spill on my driveway that looks somewhat sorta-kinda maybe like the Virgin herself.

Seek the Giver, not the gift. A pre-occupation with imagery, icons, and totems seems to be to be an opening for idolotry and spiritual deception, if one is not very careful.