When the Impossible Becomes Possible
[The angel said] . . . "Nothing is impossible for God." Then Mary said, "I am the Lord’s servant. Let it be with me just as you have said."
This is the miracle of Christmas. An ordinary, average everyday person like Mary was willing to let God work through her to touch the world. God is still coming and inviting you and me to say yes. God is still drawing near to you and me to see if we will let God work through us to touch the world. Are you willing?
There is a delightful book called The Gospel According to Abbie Jane Wells by Abbie Jane Wells, that does a terrific job of putting this story of God calling Mary into focus for me. She writes,
“Paul as well as... just about everybody else tends to forget that it took a ‘yes’ from Mary before God could 'send forth his Son' and if there is any truth to that 'when the time had fully come,' it is that Mary’s time had fully come when she went into labor at the end of her pregnancy: that’s when the time had fully come – that is when Jesus’ time to be born had fully come!
"As for 'Had Jesus come to a different people in a different place at a different time...” I don’t think you can juggle his place in history – or Mary's – that way; and since Jesus was born of Mary, you'd have to get her as well as Jesus into 'a different people in a different place at a different time' – which isn’t humanly, or Godly, possible.
"Of course, it is possible for God to have a Son of a woman 'in a different people in a different place at a different time’'– but that one wouldn’t be Jesus, for Jesus was Mary's son as well as God's – which lottsa people tend to forget at times.
"For all I know – for all anybody knows – God may have 'proposed' (or propositioned?)… through the ages but, as far as we know, Mary was the first one to say an unqualified 'yes'...
"'When the time had fully come,'... and the 'Time had fully come' only because the woman Mary said, 'yes.'"
I like that. Are you willing to say yes? Are you willing to believe? Are you willing to trust?
May the miracle of Christmas touch you this year. That God wants to work through average, ordinary people like you and me to touch the world with hope. May we learn from Mary to say yes and to trust God with our life.
Prayer: Gracious God, come to us this Christmas Eve. It is such a different Christmas from most Christmases that we celebrate. While we lament the loss of connecting in ways we have in times past, we know that you are in this moment and you are in our future. Help us to say yes to you, so we can live into the future you have envisioned for this world. In the hope Jesus offers us, Amen.
May this devotion provide you with a moment of faithful reflection and care. You are involved in ministries of justice and witness, in ministries of standing up and standing with people working to create better systems and communities, in ministries of learning and searching and researching to become more aware and awakened, more technologically savvy and proficient, more virtually and personally present in your churches and communities and world. Each of us who serve as members of your Wisconsin Cabinet write these devotions in grateful prayer for you – for sustenance and buoyancy, for strength and courage, for safety and just actions, and for faith and love to be full and fulfilled in your daily lives. God’s grace and blessings, God’s challenge and healthy discomfort, God’s Spirit and energy be with you, in the hope Christ offers us all.