How many of you would say you have a complicated relationship with your mother? You may be sitting by your mom right now and are going to keep your hand down whatever you feel. Plenty of folks talk about their mothers—and their fathers, for that matter—in therapy. Some mothers are smothering, others critical, others distant.
The most famous mother in history is Mary, mother of Jesus. And Lutherans—and Protestants, in general—have a complicated relationship with Mary. We love her in our nativity sets at Christmas. We love her sweet lullaby’s sung to her son. But we remember the Reformation’s appropriate warning: she is not God. Some Protestants have an inner Mary-meter that goes off when we hear about prayers to Mary, rosaries, apparitions and things we don’t understand. Give us Jesus only, please.