Stump the Rector

Joy writes,
I have a stump the rector question and I hope it doesn’t sound frivolous but I have always wondered, since Jesus was not conceived of sin did Mary have the pangs of birth?

It is an interesting question and one that I must admit stumps me. You win.

The Scripture does not say anything directly about this so all we can offer is conjecture.

I suspect that if the Roman doctrine of Immaculate Conception were true, then it might be argued that Mary would have been exempt from the pain that came as a result of the fall (Genesis 3:16). Let me clarify that many Protestants misunderstand this doctrine to be about Christ’s sinless conception but this is a doctrine that Mary was conceived and therefore born without sin. But because there is no direct teaching of her sinlessness in Holy Scripture, it is not a doctrine of the Anglican Church.

So if Mary was not sinless, then she would be a woman like any woman, albeit uniquely blessed among women to be chosen the Mother of God. The Bible does record a prophecy from Simeon that she would suffer i.e. a sword would pierce her soul (Lk 2:35). Thus we know that she shared common emotions and was not exempt from emotional pain. Further we know for certain that our Lord was without sin and yet because He was fully human He suffered in all ways as we do. He knew hunger and anger and rejection and He certainly experienced physical pain when He was beaten beyond recognition and when He was nailed to the cross. So at the risk of making the Blessed Mother cross with me, if I had to guess, I would say that she did suffer birth pangs.

2 thoughts on “Stump the Rector

  1. I’m more amazed that Mary could deliver Christ Jesus without verifiable proof of coverage; sterile delivery room conditions, in a JCAHO accredited Medical Facility; attended to by Board Certified and Credentialed OB/GYN’s…

    We get spoiled to the requirements MAN has put on the human condition. Praise God that he did not allow those to be impediments to His greater purpose of sending His Son!

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