IN CHURCHES THROUGHOUT THIS PERIOD, the Christmas Story will be read and retold again. I wonder what part of the story catches your attention. What aspects are you more drawn to? Diﬀerent scenes are especially poignant to us at the various stages in our lives.
The part that has recently captured my imagination is the person of Mary, the mother of Jesus. I had long seen her merely as a vessel through which the miracle of the virgin birth could take place. But of late I have been fascinated by her role in this story. A young virgin girl, about to cross what must be the most important threshold of her life, marriage. en, as it is often the case, very inconveniently, the angel appears with a startling revelation that she, and we are not told exactly why, was bestowed this honour and responsibility – to carry the Christ Child.
Here comes the part that has caused me to marvel. Her initial response was one of disbelief and bewilderment. “How can it be … ” she responded as she was still a virgin. is protest was countered with the angel’s pronouncement that “with God all things were possible” (Luke 1:35). an comes Mary’s classic three -worded phrase, “Let it be” (Luke 1:38).
I wondered how I would have responded if I were in her shoes? What if God were to catch me just as I was about to embark on an important phase in my life and ask me to take another direction; how would I respond? What if the enormity of the task is not matched by adequacy, my limited talents and skills? Will I also be assured like Mary of God’s promise of His suﬃciency?
What can we learn about the wisdom and suﬃciency of the words “Let it be”? I realise the reply is both a theological one and also a statement of faith and obedience.
In today’s day and age I notice we live in a mismatched environment. We have more counsellors trained and yet more troubled clients. We have newer drug therapies but are crowded by our existing patients. Yet I cannot feel all this are signs of the Age of Anxiety (Newsweek).
How do we live in such a way that reflects our faith in God? Remember Mary and her mantra of “Let it be.”