The angel said to [Mary], “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. -Luke 1:35-38
Here am I, the servant of the Lord. This passage of scripture between Mary and the angel Gabriel has so much good stuff in it, doesn't it? But, for this day of Advent I would like you to think about what it means for Mary to take on the responsibility of carrying the Christ Child. Remember Mary not as we might picture her, through either the lens of Roman Catholicism or Protestantism, but rather through the lens of any young teenage girl (13 or 14 years old) you know. What would it mean for that young girl to become pregnant? What kind of stress; what kind of pressure; what kind of heartache would the young girl you have in mind face as she broke the news to her parents, friends, family, neighbors?
For no matter how tempting it is to say "Well, back then teenage pregnancy wasn't an issue" don't deceive yourself. An unwed, teenage mother, whom no one knew who the father was, is not accepted in any society. And yet, with all of that running through her mind, young Mary said in effect, "Here am I" send me.
So, if Mary could take on the task assigned to her, seemingly so easily, what stops us from living up to our full potential as followers of Mary's Son? I mean, we may face some peer pressure or some strange looks from acquaintances in our efforts to faithfully identify ourselves as Christ-followers. But are any of the stresses or pressures we face for faith anything compared to what Mary faced?
As you ponder these things in your heart throughout this Advent I hope you come to appreciate what an extraordinary model of Christian Discipleship Mary shows us through her acceptance of the angel's message.
Living God shine your love in our heart, soul and mind so that we may follow your will for our life down whatever path you lay before us. Show us all; Protestant, Roman Catholic, or Spiritual Seeker, the model for living presented to all humanity through the strength and courage of a young girl named Mary. Amen.
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