December 16, Day Four of Week Three – The Way of Peace though Joy

Luke 1: 26 – 31, 38 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you. Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.”

Yes! 2The Summons Song Link
Will you come and follow me
If I but call your name?
Will you go where you don’t know
And never be the same?
Will you let my love be shown,
Will you let my name be known,
Will you let my life be grown
In you and you in me?

Will you leave yourself behind
If I but call your name?
Will you care for cruel and kind
And never be the same?
Will you risk the hostile stare
Should your life attract or scare?
Will you let me answer pray’r
In you and you in me?

Will you let the blinded see
If I but call your name?
Will you set the pris’ners free
And never be the same?
Will you kiss the leper clean,
And do such as this unseen,
And admit to what I mean
In you and you in me?

Will you love the ‘you’ you hide
If I but call your name?
Will you quell the fear inside
And never be the same?
Will you use the faith you’ve found
To reshape the world around,
Through my sight and touch and sound
In you and you in me?

Lord, your summons echoes true
When you but call my name.
Let me turn and follow you
And never be the same.
In your company I’ll go
Where your love and footsteps show.
Thus I’ll move and live and grow
In you and you in me.

Reflection: God did it again. Plucked some obscure girl in a remote village that no one knows and gave her the leading role. If this were a Disney movie, the girl would be a princess living in a castle, with perfect hair and beautiful gowns. Certainly, Mary would have minions. Gabriel never would have made it into the castle, let alone Mary’s room. But this is a God production and he likes to cast obscure people in starring roles. His productions are message laden – with an angel messenger. Can’t you just hear him whispering, “If I can do this in the life of a poor young girl, a nobody really, imagine what I can do with you – if you will just listen for me.”

But that’s not all. Imagine this scene. A teenager, sound asleep at night, is woken by an angel. Imagine you are that teenager. Suppose this angel tells you God wants you to do something that will have your whole town gossiping about you. Suppose what God asks is going to cause the ones who love you best to question you and perhaps not believe you. Suppose what God asks means your life will never be the same. Suppose what God asks scares you and is filled with the unknown. In that moment, with an angel in your room, woken from a dead sleep, would you answer calmly, rubbing the sleep from your eyes, sure in your faith and say, “Okay,” without any questions or negotiations? Admit it, you’d be as jumpy as Scrooge was when the ghosts woke him.

Yet in God’s story, Mary remains calm and agrees. Her faith is that strong. In her mind, “If God sent an angel to me and needs me to do something, of course I’m going to do it.” For Mary, it was just that simple. God’s story – an obscure person with an amazing faith and an angel messenger told just for us. No princesses or super powers. Just an everyday person like you and me.

Action: These days of Advent are a time to pull ourselves closer to God, to listen for him and certain our faith. Look for God today, beckon his whispers. Go for a walk in the early of the morning or the quiet of the evening. Pray your way around the block. Find the way of peace on your very own street.

Dear God, We love the stories that show what you did with ordinary people like Mary and Joseph. These stories of humble people give us hope that we, too, are enough for your love and promise, even in all our falterings. Help us follow Mary’s path and go where we don’t know and never be the same. Following you, Amen.

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