Luke 1:34-38 (CEV)
34 Mary asked the angel, “How can this happen? I am not married!”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come down to you, and God’s power will come over you. So your child will be called the holy Son of God. 36 Your relative Elizabeth is also going to have a son, even though she is old. No one thought she could ever have a baby, but in three months she will have a son. 37 Nothing is impossible for God!”
38 Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant! Let it happen as you have said.” And the angel left her.
As Maggi reminds us (p94), Mary’s response to Gabriel, to God, was not an immediate unqualified yes. We can run away with the idea of Holy Mary, willingly and unquestioningly accepting God’s will. But she didn’t. It took time to sink in. There were questions to be asked, things to be clarified – not least of all
She is allowed the time. The questions are gently answered. God does not steam-roller, but invites and gently allows it all to sink in.
This is a great encouragement to me. God isn’t looking for our unthinking following and acceptance. That is not what faith is. Faith is going with it, even when we aren’t sure how it will all pan out. Faith is trusting God, even when the plan seems crazy – but going into it with our eyes open.
Asking God questions is ok.
In the long run it helps us to understand him better.
God calls Mary to be the mother of Jesus, he doesn’t compel her.
There is almost the sense that while Mary ponders and questions and considers, heaven waits with bated breath (p95)
God calls and invites, he waits for his people to respond.
I hear your call.
I don’t always understand it,
can’t work out how it can happen,
wonder what the effects will be.
Help me to respond
that you allow us to question,
to make a decision.
That you are not a God of coercion
but of invitation
whilst this is not entirely my theology, it contains some very interesting and powerful thoughts
This year, several of us are reading Beginnings and Endings by Maggi Dawn and joining together to comment on it. Do join us at the Adventbookclub Facebook page, follow #adventbookclub on Twitter or comment below. If you are also reading and blogging on this book, let me know and I will link to your blog.