Fiona Stewart is the Creative Director at Foolproof Creative Arts, a Christian arts charity based in Glasgow.
‘He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.’ (Luke 1:32–33)
There’s a Scottish expression: ‘I kent his faither’. It translates as ‘I knew his father’ and, like tall poppy syndrome, it’s intended to dismiss any idea of greatness. Knowledge of someone’s ancestry is wielded like a blade to cut them down and prevent them from achieving their potential.
Our view of Mary, Jesus’ mother, is shaped by tradition, art and nativity plays, but looking afresh at Luke 1, we find a young woman who is both humble and devout. This is not a naive girl in a blue frock, but a woman of faith, entrusted to care for the son of God. A woman who knows God.
Gabriel makes her son’s identity clear to her. This will be a child of royal lineage through his ancestor, King David, and the king of all kings through his father, God.
Jesus’ identity is revealed – in the womb, in the manger, on the cross and in glory – he is the Son of God and the King of Kings. Relationship with God, and a place in his never-ending kingdom, is what he offers each of us. Because of him, we know his father – and we can call him our father too. And that gives hope to the fatherless everywhere.