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Hamilton Advertiser - - CHURCH NEWS - St Machan’s

Mary: The Name that Tyrants Should Fear.

At this time of the year we get ready to hear once again the old, fa­mil­iar story of a child born in sta­ble at Beth­le­hem.

This is the Christ­mas story, a story we have all known since we were chil­dren – but it is no chil­dren’s tale.

There is part of the story that does not make it into church and school na­tiv­ity plays.

It con­cerns the rea­son why God chose a girl called‘mary’(or Mari­amme in the Ara­maic lan­guage which Je­sus and his con­tem­po­raries spoke).

Was it just by chance that God chose a girl named Mary to be the mother of Je­sus?

Could God just have eas­ily cho­sen a girl named Sarah or El­iz­a­beth?

I am sure he could have, but the fact that he chose a‘mary’is sig­nif­i­cant.

In the years lead­ing up to Je­sus’birth there was a tyrant named Herod on the Jewish throne.

As a pup­pet King, un­der the thumb of Rome, Herod’s claim to the throne was du­bi­ous at best. In or­der to shore up his claim to the throne he mar­ried a princess from an older, more pop­u­lar, Jewish Royal Fam­ily.

This princess was named ‘Mari­amme (Mary) the Has­monean’.

After mar­ry­ing Mary and hav­ing chil­dren with her, he be­came para­noid that his sons might one day chal­lenge his claim to the throne - so he had Mary and his sons ex­e­cuted.

In protest, many fam­i­lies chose to name their new baby girls‘mary’, as an act of de­fi­ance against Herod’s tyranny.

It was one of these girls that God chose to be mother of Je­sus. The fact that God chose a‘mary’ to be the mother of Je­sus is, for me, not an ac­ci­dent. It is a state­ment, a prom­ise even, that one day God will over­throw all tyrants.

As Mary her­self sang in her beau­ti­ful song, when told she would give birth to Je­sus:‘god has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the hum­ble.

He has filled the hun­gry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.’(luke 1: 52-53). Thanks be to God.

By the Rev­erend Christo­pher Rank­ine, of Hill­house Par­ish Church.


Morn­ing wor­ship on Sun­day, De­cem­ber 9, the sec­ond Sun­day of Ad­vent, will start at 11am and will be con­ducted by Rev Alastair Mckil­lop. A creche is avail­able for ba­bies and chil­dren up to three years and this runs from 10.45am. The Sun­day Fun Club runs from 11am in the church Hall.

The St Machan’s Men’s Club is pre­sent­ing a Christ­mas con­cert in the church on Satur­day, De­cem­ber 8, at 7.30pm. En­ter­tain­ment will be pro­vided again by The Stone­house Male Voice Choir and Coal­burn Sil­ver In­ter­me­di­ate and Ju­nior Bands and Santa will be mak­ing an un­sched­uled stop. En­try is £5 at the door and this in­cludes re­fresh­ments. There is no charge for chil­dren, when ac­com­pa­nied by an adult.

On Tues­day, De­cem­ber 11, the se­nior friend­ship cir­cle will meet in the church hall at 1pm. This is their Christ­mas meet­ing and their guests will be the Sal­va­tion Army who will bring a sense of the Spirit of Christ­mas to the af­ter­noon.

On Tues­day, De­cem­ber 11, the Ge­n­e­sis Youth Club will meet and this will be a games night. This club is for young peo­ple aged be­tween 11 and 15.


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