ronniemcbrayer300 blackKENTUCKY (12/22/13) — For the longest time I thought a Hail Mary was a desperate, last-ditch throw at the end of a football game; a frantic attempt to win at the final second. Having been raised in one of the more contrary factions of Protestantism, you can’t blame me. I was taught to avoid Catholicism with the same amount of fierceness as avoiding card-playing and dancing. They were all equal spawns of the same Satan, or so I was instructed.

Well, all these years later, I haven’t picked up the habit of praying the Rosary, but I have come to appreciate it. And I understand why some believers find the Hail Mary, or Ave Maria, so gripping. Hail Mary, full of grace. Our Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus, comes straight from the Christmas text of Luke. It is Gabriel’s announcement that Mary will give birth to the Christ child, the Son of God.

There are plenty of divine births in religious literature. God (or the gods) comes down from heaven, assumes physical form, has intercourse with some fair maiden, and the resulting pregnancy is a mix of the human and divine demigods we call them. This is a common narrative, and is especially true of the Greeks.

Greek mythology is filled with tales of classic heroes who claimed paternity from the gods, but were birthed by human mothers (Theseus, Perseus, and Heracles to name a few). In most cases the divine father is Zeus who was nothing short of a cosmic philanderer with children scattered all over the Mediterranean and Mount Olympus.

This is not the nature of Mary’s pregnancy. What happens with her is unique in literature and in religion. That Gods spirit would come upon her reminiscent of Gods Spirit moving across the waters in the primal act of creation is a Jewish concept with its own flavor. And it has given Christianity the virgin birth.

Yet, Luke puts little emphasis on Mary’s celibacy, hardly any at all. Luke’s emphasis is on Mary’s compliance to Gods will. Mary’s response to her miraculous motherhood is profound; it is an act of complete surrender, as she says to Gabriel, I am Gods slave. Let it be done to me according to your word. Let it be. Now, where have we heard those words before?

The song “Let it Be” might be Paul McCartney’s finest work. He wrote at a difficult time: The Beatles were on the skids, individually they were suffering from their success, and Paul was a mess. He was lost, drunk, and confused. He began to feel this wrenching misery, longing for the comfort of his mother her name was Mary who had died when he was fourteen.

It was during this time that Paul’s mother came to him in a dream, he says. And she said to him, most supportive, Paul, let it be. McCartney awoke, went to the piano, and wrote the now classic song:

“When I find myself in times of trouble,
Mother Mary comes to me;
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
There will be an answer, let it be.”

When Mary the mother of Jesus, not the mother of Paul said, Let it be, she wasn’t despairing of life. She was willingly receiving the way of God for her life. She was admitting that her designs for living would be set aside so that Gods design for her life would come to fruition in and through her.

Hers, like Paul’s, was a song of surrender, not of apathy or hopelessness. It was a song of submission to a higher and better way. Now, this sounds like losing, like we are giving up, but we lose nothing. We gain everything.

By accepting how the world actually is, accepting who we really are, and accepting what God wants for us, we move forward with peace. We collapse into the strength and will of the Almighty. Let it be. To confess such a thing is to indeed be full of grace.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, pastor, and author. His newest book is The Gospel According to Waffle House. You can read more at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.

Disclaimer: The content supplied by columnists and letters to the Editor on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such content, statement, or opinions therein. SurfKY News does not necessarily adhere to or endorse content provided by outside non-staff sources.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

In Other News...

Hume, Smithhart among Coach of the Year Honorees

WINCHESTER, Ky. (2/27/15) — Henderson County's Tyler Smithhart (Region 2) and Daviess County's Pat Hume (Region 3) are… Read More

Local Church Hosting Spring Campmeeting

Pastors Tim and Barbara Rigdon of New Covenant Christian Center in Providence to host a Spring Campmeeting featuring… Read More

Most Read This Week

February 21, 2015 6922

Traffic Advisory for Western Kentucky

in Top News For All Sites by KTC
February 25, 2015 6013

Multi-Agency Investigation Nets Large-Scale Meth…

in Top News For All Sites by Trooper Stu Recke
February 24, 2015 5942

Two Charged in Central City Meth Bust

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
February 25, 2015 5849

New Asian Restaurant Coming to Madisonville

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
February 22, 2015 5723

Easter Cuties Pageant in Memory of Shanice Bean

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
February 21, 2015 5409

Local Administrators Warn Employees to Watch for…

in Top News For All Sites by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

February 12, 2015

UPDATE: Name of Pennyrile Fatality Officially…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Today

February 27, 2015 1020

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Feb. 27, 2015

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
February 27, 2015 836

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

in Hopkins News by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office
February 27, 2015 672

AIRPLAY: Travis Dukes Makes Stop for Jam Session

in Top News For All Sites by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
February 27, 2015 672

Tim Thomas to Speak at Rescheduled Black History…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
February 27, 2015 672

Tips for Travelers Considering a Cruise

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
February 27, 2015 662

How to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions at Home

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
February 27, 2015 621

Whitfield Presses Health Secretary on Obamacare…

in General News For All Sites by Marty Irby
February 27, 2015 608

Mustangs Fall to McLean County in Three Overtime…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Steve LeMaster
February 27, 2015 572

Lady Mustangs Capture 10th District Title

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Steve LeMaster
February 27, 2015 569

The Potentially Harmful Effects of Mold in Your…

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News