The fourth Sunday of Advent is the perfect time for the story of Gabriel and Mary because it’s all about love–God’s great love for humanity and Mary’s willingness to bring that love into the world. This passage overflows with all the improbable possibilities God imagines for the whole of humanity. I have this vivid image in my mind of God anxiously awaiting to hear what Mary is going to say. Maybe there were a dozen other young women Gabriel asked on God’s behalf before Mary was courageous enough to say yes.
It seems impossible that such a thing could have happened. You don’t need me to tell you about all the broken places in this world. The horrific tragedy of the school attack in Pakistan, the violent deaths on our streets, the wars, illness, the homelessness, the hunger, the poverty that is as far away as the other side of the globe and as close as the face in the mirror. Mary’s life wasn’t any different. Human suffering surrounded her, too. But when she was asked to bear God into the world, she did not turn away or pretend not to hear.
We all are asked every day to bear God into the world. Mostly, we aren’t listening very well. So in these last few days before Christmas, take some time to think about it. How are you being called to bring Christ into the world? Do you have the courage to respond with a holy, improbable yes? If a teenage girl can do it, I’m betting there’s hope for the rest of us.
RCL – Year B – Fourth Sunday of Advent – Love – December 21, 2014
2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16
Luke 1:46-55 or Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26