Skip to main content

Memorial: The Mystery of Mary of Bethany






Memorial: The Mystery of Mary of Bethany by Dolores Kimball

The figure of Mary of Bethany in the Gospels does not take up a large portion of Scripture.  However, her role in the ministry of Jesus is very important.  Author and editor Dolores Kimball in her new book, Memorial: The Mystery of Mary, brings her years of working for Christian ministries to bear on the portrait of Mary of Bethany.  Specifically, this book is designed to women in a unique way.  I found the chapters to be most interesting in providing a perspective on Mary that brought the special place we find for her in the Gospels.  Certainly, there is more to Mary than meets the eye and thus she provides a good role model for women today.

In her chapter on life choices, Dolores brings out an important point on the way Mary and Martha interacted with Jesus in regards to worship and service.  She writes, “Mary made a conscious choice to sit at Jesus’ feet in the same way that Martha made a conscious choice to serve.  But worship is always a higher service to Christ than anything done on his behalf.  Even those who love the Lord dearly can become so wrapped up in doing things for Christ that we cease to hear from him and lose sight of what he has done for us.” (45)  This distinction between service and worship is not an easy rope to walk on.  Because, we often feel, myself included, that service for Christ is worship for Christ and we forget the so very important message of worshipping Christ in our quietness, in our praises, and in his Word.  Martha was wrapped in the service as worship mindset while Mary was more concerned with intently seeking Jesus, to be with him and learn from him. 

Dolores brings out Jesus’ commendation of Mary in the context of Mary anointing Jesus’ body for burial.  “This astonishing act was unparalleled in all of Scripture.  She alone among all those recorded in the Bible knew that his death and burial were only days away.  She alone believed him when he said that he ‘must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again’ (Mark 8:31).  And that knowledge was born out of her unique faith - faith in who Jesus was and what he came to accomplish for her and for all who would ever believe in him down through the ages.” (71)  We skip over this commendation at times to race toward the resurrection appearances and the Jesus teaching those on the road to Emmaus.  Yet, we forget that Mary of Bethany was the one who had eyes to see and ears to hear what was coming ahead.  When the disciples were sleeping and confused about who is going to sit on Jesus’ right hand, Mary was commended for her unique faith in taking to heart Jesus’ prophetic words of his coming death and resurrection.

This book was very good in bringing out the unique and powerful message of Mary in connection to Jesus.  With patience and wisdom, Dolores carefully weaves together a portrait of Mary that is full of faith and one who seems to get the message of Jesus when most others didn’t.


Thanks to EP Books and Cross Focused Reviews for the review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

the great spiritual migration

The Great Spiritual Migration by Brian D McLaren

Brian McLaren and his own pithy way brings to the foreground and emphasis on a new kind of Christianity. The kind of faith that Brian envisions is a kind of migration not been set in the bedrock of beliefs that is unmoving but rather shifting with both culture and with faith. His new book the great spiritual migration is exactly that, a pointed work that encapsulates a vision towards the future where Christianity is changing and its peoples lives are changed as well.

Brian states in the introduction, "but we also know that for a lot of people Christianity is malfunctioning, seriously so, and it's not pretty. This kind of frustration with conventional Christianity is what McLaren gets gets to at the heart of this message is concerned with a number of different clusters unbelief. One, namely that Christianity has been stuck in a set of propositions or beliefs that has controlled churches in the faith, rather then a spirit of love t…

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning by Timothy Snyder
Misperceptions, misconnections, and missed observations are just some of the issues that Timothy Snyder raises in his book, Black Earth, concerning the Holocaust.  Snyder, no stranger to the frontlines of scholarship on the Holocaust, with his previous book Bloodlands, that concerns the land from Hitler to Stalin, takes a look at the Holocaust from new sources and new avenues of thought.  How did some nation-states survive relatively unscathed from Nazi persecution while others, notably Jewish populations, succumb to a wave of killings?  Also, what was the role of the Soviet Union in the war and how did Stalin effect changes in the Final Solution?  These questions are only two of the many that Snyder answers in his detailed account of the Holocaust.
One of the best chapters was entitled The Auschwitz Paradox.  Generally when the public thinks about the Holocaust, we think of Auschwitz first or at the top of our mental m…

NKJV Study Bible by Thomas Nelson

NKJV Study Bible by Thomas Nelson Publishers
Growing up with the NIV, the NKJV was not a bible I was familiar with.  This new NKJV Study Bible takes all of the features of the Thomas Nelson Study Bible and makes them better.  Right out of the box I noticed that the Bible was considerably lighter than most study bibles I have read.  Further, the text font was much larger than most study editions, although I’m not quite sure of the size. The aquamarine color was a great touch and the Bible was finely put together, enduring the wear of many coming years of use.
Why is this Bible worth the purchase?  First, the study notes were great for extra handling of particular confusing and messy areas of Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments.  Yet, the study notes aren’t an obstruction to the reading of the biblical text.  Clearly, the editors have taken great care in making the text stand out and the notes illuminate certain themes and areas of Scripture.  Second, the NKJV takes into account all t…