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Christians are used to hearing about Joseph and Mary, usually around Christmas. Then, they’re the supporting cast, and Jesus is the focus. They certainly don’t often come up in conversations about Christian marriage. Perhaps they should. If we pay attention, Joseph and Mary point us toward what makes a good marriage.

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Most evangelicals are accustomed to the Mary of icons with an emotionless face, the Mary of statues draped in a powder blue robe, and the Mary of piety who quietly and submissively obeys orders. And, if you are like me, you have been nurtured in a faith that, intentionally or not, ignores Mary.

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Despite the positive reviews I had heard of The Nativity Story, I went to the movie prepared to be a critic. After all, I thought, it was my duty to see through the cinematic gimmicks and factual errors to produce a film review. Though I came to the film a bit cynically, I left feeling uplifted and moved.

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We know that when we say “yes” to God’s call to ministry and when we persist in that ministry despite opposition and hardship, we’ll likely be hurt. We’ll be grieved by those we love and long to serve.

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Christianity began when an angel showed up at a young, unwed girl’s house, announcing that she’d been honored with the privilege of carrying a baby boy—a boy who would become the hope of the nations. God chose a young, unwed mother to be mother of the One who would usher in an upside down kingdom, a kingdom where God esteems people quite differently than humanity ever has before.

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This year, I have noticed Mary more than usual. One of the things I’ve seen is a very strong person who bucks her culture to be what God calls her to be. That resistance has a hidden cost that the Bible doesn’t record directly. 

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For most of my life, I didn’t understand the significance of Advent. It paled next to Christmas. And I felt the same indifference for Advent that I had for every other church season.

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The story of the incarnation, of God becoming flesh, doesn't begin in a manger full of sweet, clean hay with a lullaby of softly lowing cattle—it begins in the belly of an unwed teenage girl.

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We invite you to journey with our writers as they rediscover Mary through theology, personal reflection, and real-world experiences with those who can give us insight into Mary.

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So, what does the Bible have to say in response to the issues raised by the #MeToo movement? It seems to me that the central response to this question is the name of Jesus the Messiah’s mother—Mary.

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