Friday 25 March 2011

Bible Book:

"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." (v. 38)

Luke 1:26-38 Friday 25 March 2011


Today is the Feast of the Annunciation, when we remember thestory of how Mary discovered that she would become the mother ofJesus. Nine months before Christmas, be warned there are only 275shopping days left!

I find the most moving aspect of this story comes at the last verse- when Mary says, "Let it be with me according to your word." Todayit is hard to realise just how much shame and abuse Mary is takingon when she accepts the message and the calling God has for her.Mary is described as one who has found favour with God (verse 30) -presumably she is well respected or 'a good girl'. Accepting whatGod has for her means that her family will feel betrayed by her,her future husband believe that she has been disloyal, every timeshe leaves her home it will mean that that neighbours, formerfriends will try to stone her to death. Later in life Jesus willaffirm that he has "nowhere to lay his head" (Matthew 8:20); being born out of wedlock infirst century Palestine means that he and his mother will be seenas the lowest of the low. Most people would be appalled at what Godis asking of her, no-one could blame her for saying 'Not me Lord. Idon't deserve that.' But Mary says - if that's what God wants - sobe it.

Of course the story has to be seen as part of the account of thebirth of Jesus. This is no ordinary child - this is the God of allcreation being born into that creation - we call it incarnation.But in the way that the child is born this is just an ordinarychild, like so many today - born into poverty and disgrace. God'sways are often strange, mysterious, but they are also more thanprofound.

"Mary I have a job for you!"

To Ponder

In the Methodist Covenant Service we saythe Covenant Prayer, "Your will not mine ... yourwill be done when I am valued, and when I am disregarded." Marygives an example of what this means; how far can you in your heartsay "if it's what God wants - so be it"?

We assume power and influence is found in thepalace, but Jesus had more effect on the world than any ruler ever.God's priorities are not ours. What does this passage say to youabout what God is like - God's nature?

In one of his parables (Matthew 25:31-46) Jesus spoke of how we willmeet him in the poor and the imprisoned. To what extent do we alsomeet him in the single mother?

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