Monday, December 5, 2016

Mary - She let in the light

It's Monday, the second week of Advent.  This morning I return to Luke 1 and the unfolding story of the first Advent.  I want to muse a bit on Mary.  Mary is God's choice...pure and simple.  She is one of thousands of young girls in Israel at this time, yet God chooses her to be the mother of His Son.  While the Catholic church elevates her more than necessary; Protestants ignore this fact - She was God's choice.  Think about this:

Luke 1:26-38
26  In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,
27  to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary.
28  And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”
29  But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be.
30  And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
31  And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
32  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,
33  and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
34  And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”
35  And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.
36  And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.
37  For nothing will be impossible with God.”
38  And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.  

"let it be to me according to your word". That might be the most simple, and yet, best statement of faith that exists. "Yes Lord" is faith. This young girl is willing to do the unfathomable. She says yes to God.  

But do we understand what that meant?  When Mary said "yes", she also says yes to "questioning", "suspicion", "finger-pointing", "gossip", "shame".   Who would believe her when she told others that she was pregnant because of God?  Joseph didn't at first and he loved her.

A young virgin conceiving a child by God...impossible. What would you say if someone called you with that line. But, here she is, this woman who says "let it be to me according to your word."
Mary understood what we need to - that Faith always leads to obedience...not because we "know" the details or the outcome, but because we trust and believe.  Mary doesn't know all that is going to happen, but she is willing and available to God for the light of the world to come.

Thomas Merton put it this way:

"Mary", he wrote "was as pure as the glass of a very clean window that has no other function than to admit the light of the sun."

May It Be to Me As You Have Said
It was the whisper
of a young woman's ready response to God
that opened to the miracle of saving grace
entering our world in the person of Jesus, Our Lord.
- Jack Hayford

"To You, Today, A Savior..."

May we be as open to God, a window to let in his light.

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