Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 52 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Battling Nestorianism

One major foundation of the Christian faith is the Incarnation: God taking Flesh. Jesus, who is and was and always will be God: the Second Person of the Trinity. Nestorianism is the denial the Jesus has always been God. Modern Protestants fall into this by trying to downplay veneration to Mary by denying the title of Mother of God. They say, "she is the Mother of Jesus", but not Mother of God. But when faced with the reality that Jesus IS God (which they do believe), what they actually are doing is a knee-jerk anti-catholicism. Unfortunately, this is sometimes an ignorance that cannot be overcome (or so it seems sometimes).

Today is the Feast of the Motherhood of the Blesssed Virgin Mary, established to honor the decision of the Council of Chalcedon in 431 reaffirming Mary as the Mother of God (or Theotokos in the Greek, literally God-bearer). As with all veneration of Mary (remembering that veneration is a form of respect, NOT worship), ultimately it is about her relationship with Jesus Christ! And it is from Mary that He took his flesh in her womb.

As the Anglican Breviary points out for today's feast, celebrating this Feast and the fact of Mary being Theotokos, "that Mary was Mother of God is blessed amongst women (St. Elizabeth's greeting to Mary in Luke's gospel), and hence that womanhood is sacred in God's sight; that the Family of Nazareth is the most noble example of the human home; that chaste wedlock is of such high dignity and holiness that God himself could enter the world as man under its protection' and that the rearing of children in a godly household is in itself so holy and excellent a thing that the eternal Word could come as a babe to such a home." p.E472