For sisters only (!) - especially single sisters...

Here, then is a point worth considering: their singleness. Mary and her older sister, unmarried women, figure quite prominently in Jesus’ earthly life and were the focus of His loving attention. In turn, they believed in Him, loved Him, and ministered to Him. Their marital state did not at all deplete their special, close relationship to the Christ or make them second-class Christian servants.

The poet Christina Rossetti (1830-94) from personal experience enlightens those who look askance upon singleness as being somewhat deficient: She whose heart is virginal abides aloft and aloof in spirit. . . . Her spiritual eyes behold the King in His beauty; wherefore she forgets, by comparison, her own people and her father’s house. Her Maker is her Husband, endowing her with a name better than of sons and daughters. . . . She loves Him with all her heart and soul and mind and strength; she is jealous that she cannot love Him more; her desire to love Him outruns her possibility, yet by outrunning enlarges it. She contemplates Him, and abhors herself in dust and ashes.

That’s an important reminder for our times, when some segments of our Christian community consider single women inferior to married women in terms of potential and worth. That attitude certainly isn’t Christlike. We see Christ’s special appreciation demonstrated in His relationship with Martha and Mary. Whereas the Bible records most of the women meeting Jesus only in one outstanding incident, we’re allowed to see Mary three times, each appearance showing her at Jesus’ feet. To me, that speaks the central sermon of Mary’s person and pathway: she wholeheartedly, worshipfully adored the Lord.


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