When I was growing up as a Presbyterian we learned that the Immaculate Conception was how Jesus was conceived. Mary was a virgin and therefore the product of her conception from the Holy Spirit was Immaculate. Of course nobody brought this kind of thing up because it really wasn't a part of the lesson. I remember asking or having someone ask in one of my Sunday school classes about it and that was the answer.
Thats not what it is though of course. Mary was Immaculately conceived. Jesus was conceived of the Hold Spirit and incarnate of the Virgin Mary, who was conceived without the stain of Original Sin.
Something I heard the other day that I never ever though of. Jesus looked like Mary because he took on her flesh. He did not have an earthly father from whom to take features. Mary is not merely the woman who mothered Jesus while he was growing up. She is the new Ark of the Covenant. The Word made flesh took her flesh. Therefore we believe that Mary needed to be the most beautiful vessel that ever walked the earth. The old Ark was not a cardboard box. In fact there were extremely exact and ornate instructions for its construction. The same with the new Ark which carried the Word made flesh.
Thats it for me. Just wanted to share my growth a bit with anyone who cares to read it. Of course I've understood the Immaculate Conception for some time now, but this is the first and best chance I've had to put it up here.
New Mary Poem on the Immaculate Conception: (by me)
Mary Mary lemon fresh Lady
Squeaky clean, not a bit shady.
Not a bad start
To bring in the Word
so our sins would be cured.
Have a great feast day!