Thursday, December 19, 2013

Advent XIX

When it comes to giving an award for being nothing short of being truly amazing, you have to hand it over to Mary.   If the angel Gabriel shows up at my place, there is no way I am going to be doing anything except pulling the covers over my head, hoping that shaking in fear is not a sound which can be heard.  When I was a kid and woke up scared in the middle of the night, under the covers I would go.  How Mary did what she did is really something to behold.  This young girl had some kind of extraordinary courage and faith!
Aside from the visit of the angel, what she heard was something totally unimaginable.  Impossible is what she thought.  But, once Gabriel explained how it was going to be, we see a Mary who is not only open to what God is about to do, but claims it as His plan and purpose. "Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word."   No doubt she found out quickly that her parents, her friends, and even her husband to be found her experience with the angel and her surprising pregnancy to be outside the boundaries of anything believable.  Those must have been very  lonely and difficult days for this young girl who had lived without any kind of comparable conflict in her life.

And even though we have heard the story at least once for every year we have lived, it is still a story that speaks of the incredible.  Actually, it is not just a story for a story is something that entertains, but a record of how God chose to act in the world and in our lives to express His love for us.  For many of us it is quite a challenge to really consider the fact that we need Someone outside of ourselves to save us from the sin which is such a part of our lives.  As in the case of Mary, it takes both courage to face up to who we really are and extraordinary faith to trust the Holy One of the manger to deliver through His loving life and saving death.

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