Growing up Catholic, I remember a lot of emphasis being placed on the importance of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Yes, in some ways I felt that there was a sort of worship of Mary that was expected. Biblically, I disagree that anyone except the Trinity is worthy of worship. But now that I'm an Evangelical Christian--a bit non-denominational mixed with a sprinkling of Protestant seasoning-- I am saddened that many in the church want to totally ignore the importance that Mary played in the whole scheme of salvation. She's much more than what many give her credit as being. Like it or not, she was the mother of the Lord Jesus, the Christ.
We must remember that Mary said "YES". She was a sinner, just like you or I. She needed a Savior, just like we do. But she had a choice when she was approached by the Angel Gabriel that fateful day. She could have chosen the path that was a lot easier. Mary, a young girl, who knew that she would have been questioned about infidelity and her lack of chastity the rest of her life (which unlike today was a pretty serious offense, punishable by stoning), chose without too much hesitation to be the handmaiden of the Lord. She chose to give up the social comforts that living under the radar of public scrutiny would have afforded her. All this because she loved God, and trusted Him. And remember, God chose HER, too. Out of all women, He chose Mary to be the mother of Jesus!
If you were approached today by a Heavenly messenger, and asked to do something for God that would take your life off of its current course; knowing that what you were asked to do would bless others but make your life a lot harder...how would you answer that calling?
We must also remember that Mary, yes 100% human, deserves our respect as the mother of Jesus. She was not merely a vessel, anymore than I was a vessel for my own children. I am their mother. Mother's know their children's hearts. They stay up at night with them when they're sick. They wipe their tears when they fall or have a heartbreak. They put the needs of their children ahead of their own, and love them unconditionally--and forever. Now, imagine you are the mother of Jesus. Knowing prophecy, and knowing that He would have to die save the world; That his purpose for coming to Earth was that of the perfect sacrificial lamb for the whole world's sins. Can you imagine what she must have held deep in her heart? As a mother of two sons, I can only partially imagine...but even just imagining, it's too painful.
While I choose to not worship Mary as a deity of any kind, I respect her so much! I love her so much! And one day, when I get to Heaven, I hope to tell her how grateful I am that she said, YES.