I am still ruminating on the idea from Professor Bornemann that I quoted before in the blog called “Mary, Elizabeth, and Mercy”. Mary traveled a good distance to see her cousin for a lot of reasons. She went to see if the things the angel had said were happening. Nothing wrong with that. She went in joy to share what the angel had said. There is a missionary aspect here as well. It is Bornemann’s idea that she might have been the first Christian nurse that I find fascinating. Because of the power of the Holy Spirit she has faith and faith wants to serve God through the neighbor. She wants to go and care for her elderly cousin and help her in the delivery of her child. That is an alluring idea especially since, as far as we know, the only help that Mary had in her delivery was Joseph. I wonder how that went. Bornemann says we know she was a helper type because of her desire to help her neighbors at the wedding in Cana. Faith produces the desire to help the neighbor because that is how we can serve God. Faith in Christ is Christ in us so that we can be Christ to our neighbors.
Luther wrote this in “The Freedom of the Christian “. He is talking about what it means to be a “Christian”, to called a “Christian”. He drills down into what the so called “Christian Life” really is.
‘Sadly, this [life] is now unknown in the whole world, and is neither preached nor pursued; indeed, we are even quite ignorant of our own name, why we are Christians and are so-called. Surely we are so-called not from Christ absent, but from Christ dwelling in us, that is, inasmuch as we believe in Him and are mutually one another’s Christ, doing for neighbors just as Christ does for us. We conclude therefore that the Christian lives not in himself, but in Christ and in his neighbor, or he is no Christian; in Christ through faith, in the neighbor through love. Through faith he is rapt above himself into God, and by love he in turn flows beneath himself into the neighbor, remaining always in God and in His 10ve.’