24
Dec
12

She Didn’t Even Hesitate

I don’t think Jesus calls us to live a comfortable life. I think He calls us to live the life He lived, an obedient life, one full of service and sacrifice. And Mary’s life was sacrificial and obedient from the beginning.

In one short meeting, the angel Gabriel told Mary that she, who had kept herself from being with a man before marriage, was going to have a baby. And her only question was, “But how? I’ve never slept with a man.”

Denise Levertov says it best when she writes this about Mary,

                    She did not cry, ‘I cannot, I am not worthy,’

Nor, ‘I have not the strength.’

She did not submit with gritted teeth,

Raging, coerced.

Bravest of all humans,

Consent illumined her.

Mary clearly did not have a victim status. She did not rage and fling things across the room and worry about how everyone would think she’d already had already been unfaithful to Joseph. She did not seem to worry that there would be women whispering behind her back. She also did not seem to worry that Joseph would be angry and would think she’d been fooling around on him. As a young teenage, Jewish peasant girl, the repercussions of being pregnant out-of-wedlock were huge.

But Mary’s  immediate response, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.”  And God graced her with Himself, because that’s what He does. And somehow, Mary saw beyond her confusion and her fear and realized how blessed she would be to carry her own Savior…Consent truly illumined her.

Many times, I think we have this unrealistic view of Jesus’ birth, and we sing cute little songs like the “Virgin Mary had a Baby Boy” while dancing around the room. Every Christmas we listen to Andrew Peterson’s CD “Behold the Lamb of God.” On it is a song entitled, “Labor of Love.” The song is a vivid picture of Mary giving birth. It’s not the cleaned up version of Mary having Jesus, but a rather authentic one, where there is pain and blood and neediness…but there is also God.

So, this Christmas season, as we celebrate Jesus’ birth, I’m also thanking Abba for that teenage girl and her brave response to an angel over 2,000 years ago, to give birth to Emmanuel…God with us…the Kingdom of God is truly here.

 

 

 

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