Let It Be With Me
Today's lectionary text comes to us from Luke chapter 1 focusing on one particular verse, which we'll get to in a moment.
The passage that contains this verse is known as the Annunciation of Mary--the moment when Mary is told by the angel Gabriel that her life is about to change.
She is told that she will become pregnant by the power of the Holy Spirit, and that the child she gives birth to will be the promised Messiah, the Savior of all humankind and all of Creation with it.
Naturally, she was a bit taken aback by this.
By all accounts Mary was just a teenager, and even though she was not yet married, she was engaged, which was kind of the same thing in first-century Jewish practice.
Which meant to be found pregnant while being engaged was the same as having committed adultery--an offense that could be punishable by death.
Also, there was this:
Conventional wisdom on the matter would obviously lead one to believe that there is no way on God's green earth that such a thing would be possible. And so Mary states the obvious to the angelic messenger.
"Nothing is impossible with God" the angel replies to Mary---and indeed, to all of us who are listening along at home.
Which brings us to our verse:
1:38 Then Mary said, "Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word." Then the angel departed from her.When you think of the situation that Mary found herself in, it makes it all the more remarkable that she would say such a thing. And yet, she draws upon reserves of courage, faith and trust that most of us will never realize.
And her "Yes," changed the world.
Right about now the world is filled with impossible. The news each and every day is more and more grim.
I've talked to so many friends who are filled with dread and fear---if not from the threat of the coronavirus, then from the prospect of losing their job, their business, or their lifesavings.
And yet, we are asked to bear Jesus into the world. To be the hands and feet of Christ. To love God and love everybody in spite of our own fears and anxiety.
We are tempted to say "No,"to this because it is impossible.
But then we are reminded of this young girl, who hears the words of the angel about how nothing is impossible with God, and then lifts her head... her eyes filled with tears and a fierce kind of joy... and says "Yes."
May Mary's courage and faith give you more than enough for today and the days ahead. May her example fill you with a sense of purpose and a firm belief in the impossible made possible.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.