Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gospel Text for Sunday, 18 December 2011

Luke 1:26-38
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you." But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 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 ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" The angel said to 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 holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God." 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.

1 comment:

  1. “Let it be with me according to your word,” for me are the most pregnant words in the gospels. In nine words this 1st century Middle Eastern woman Mary, who would have been known as Miriam, surrenders herself, body, mind and spirit, to God. And, not only was this an amazing offering of herself but it was also a subversive political act. Mary welcomed what socially and politically would be considered intolerable and punishable by death. Mary consented to an ill-conceived pregnancy. “Let it be with me according to your word.”

    And isn’t that just what each and every one of us is asked to do? Are we not all invited to surrender our will and accord with the will of God? Are we, like Mary, not asked to believe the unbelievable, to consent to the ill-conceived pregnancy and call the fruit of Mary’s labor, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Son of Almighty God, the Word made flesh, Who was and is and always will be? Although our minds and the body politic tell us this is not reasonable, this is not believable, as Christians we consent to the unbelievable because we know that “nothing is impossible for God.” And so in the moments of greatest fear and consternation we say, “Here I am God; let it be with me according to your word.”

    I believe the very heart of our adventure with God is to consent to the unimaginable situations that present themselves to us and find God there present (cancer, loss of job, unintended pregnancy, death of loved one) . When we arrive at the nadir of our human experience, when we are physically compromised, socially outcast, politically incorrect, can we like Mary say, “Here I am Lord; let it be with me according with your word?” I pray for the courage that it may be so. Let it be.