By John Larkins
There is a billboard off on the west side of Rainbow Drive in Gadsden, just south of the Country Club area, with a lovely depiction of the traditional Mother of God. When I first noticed the sign, I asked myself how I could have missed seeing it. So, the billboard is new, at least to me.
As I mulled over the advertising, I thought about the significance of this ordinary reminder. What kind of people are around us in our community who do not know that we are dependent upon a biological “spark” inside our mothers? Everyone should know that Jesus had a mother. I then remembered that there are people in our town to whom this billboard is neither expected nor welcome. Of course, if one does not believe there is a God, there would be a complete dismissal of the need for a Savior along with the concept of the Son of God coming to Earth as the Son of Man. As one who accepts the Biblical account of God and His relationship with humans, I simply hold this story as true and relevant.
Those who accept some of God’s revelation to us believe part of the Bible. For example, in working with those who might consider the billboard on Rainbow Drive to be relevant, we might agree that the words “Mother of God” could mean that to be born as a human, we need a mother. Biologically, our mothers contributed half of our genetic make along with the physical systems for oxygen, food, warmth, water and protection that are a necessary condition for our development. We who accept the birth of a person would agree that everyone needs a mother. This human Jesus was “the Son of Man” and the “Son of God.” God designed this human to be fathered by the Holy Spirit as a joint product of the three persons of God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Scripture reveals that this holy mother would be a holy virgin. The “mother” part of the equation is clear – if there is to be a son, there must be a mother. The written account of the process by which the mother-to-be is to become the person who bears God is beautiful and inspiring.
Our understanding of the dialogue is that Mary was a knowing, loving and graceful volunteer to God’s purpose as announced by an angel. Luke, 1: 26-28 says, “And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her and said, “Hail thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women.”
The angel Gabriel went on to say that Mary “had found favor with God and that she would bear and bring forth a son who shall be called Jesus.” After more was revealed to Mary, she said “behold the handmaid of the Lord.” She agreed to God’s plan and gave herself to God.
The identity of Jesus as the Son of God is so well documented in scripture that to deny that link is pointless. If the Christ is not God, whom do we Christians worship? If Christ is not God, why could His death and resurrection be the source of the eternal salvation of humans? If Christ is not God, who spoke to the apostles, in Matthew 27: 18-20?
“And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth: go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
From time to time, we must reflect on just where we get the authority from God to believe some of God’s words but reject others. In the Bible, we learn of a heavenly woman who crushes Satan the Snake with her heel. She is our heavenly mother, as well.
For the past 17 years, John Larkins has evangelized on the street, door-to-door, in tent revivals and in church situations. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.