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  • Writer's picturePastor Hans Fiene

Matins Devotion: August 15, 2023

“Well-behaved women rarely make history.” That’s a saying I heard every now and then growing up. And the point was rather obvious. Those who parroted this believed that women could only make an impact on the world if they didn’t do what they were told by the mysterious figures who wanted to control them. Fight the patriarchy. Reject the roles our oppressive society wants to foist on you. That’s how you become the kind of woman who makes the world a better place and who is remembered throughout generations.

For those who buy into this idea, well, pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain, though, the most famous woman in history, the very well-behaved woman named Mary, the mother of our Lord, the woman who heard the command of our Lord, the command to bear and raise the Savior of the world, and who replied, “behold, I am the servant of the Lord, let it be to me according to your word.”

So in the womb of that well-behaved woman the Christ child was formed. In the arms of that well-behaved woman the Christ child grew in strength and in wisdom. As that well-behaved woman looked upon her son, He bled and died upon the cross, destroying the sins that separated us from our God. As she looked upon Him, He looked upon us. He looked upon a world filled with spiritual slaves and orphans, those lost in the darkness of condemnation, those without a father, a mother, or a brother. And He gave those all to us. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus adopted us into the family of God. He made His Father our Father, made Himself our brother, made the church our mother.

So when it comes to that line“well-behaved women rarely make history,” it’s not just false. It’s spectacularly false. It’s not just that the most famous woman in history was well-behaved. It’s that all of history is centered around a woman being what God created her to be–a mother. All of history is centered around the womb of the woman who rejoiced to fulfill the vocation God gave her. That’s what Paul means when he says that the fullness of time arrived when God sent for this Son born of woman. From the womb of that well-behaved woman whose name ironically means “rebellion,” God brought forth the Son whose love and victory have pierced through history and given us life beyond history, given eternal life to all who believe on His name.

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