As I read the scriptures for today, an old saying came to mind: “If it is too good to be true, it probably isn’t.” How hard it is for us with our human capacity and human cynicism to accept the good news in today’s readings! It takes time to sit with the words and try to let them soak in. It takes the Spirit’s power to help us begin to believe and to see in our own lives and in our world how the promises of God’s dwelling with us and God’s commitment to our calling are true. God dwells among us and calls to us today to play our role in the kingdom, just as God called Mary to play her special role. God empowers us for these tasks and roles that he calls us to in ways that defy our human understanding. Despite the fact that we struggle to understand this and that it is difficult at times for us to see and to express this mystery, it is so critical that we try. Consider how much we gain from recalling this story of Gabriel’s visit to Mary and how her response, and God’s assurance based on her response inspires us. The story calls us to gratitude for her acceptance of that awesome calling. Elizabeth affirms her calling and then we hear Mary’s joyous statement of her newfound understanding of this calling.
In this Advent season we need some time of silence and awe to let the words from the prophets and the gospels spark our imagination and insight. We pray with gratitude for all of the ways that the LORD has already worked in our lives, and in the lives of others that has brought more peace, more hope, more justice, and more love into the world. We can affirm our readiness to act on our callings with words like Mary’s. With enough reflection we should all be able to tell a story of God’s calling and God’s movement to allow us to overcome seemingly impossible obstacles in carrying out this calling. These stories are so important to share to inspire others and to help others to believe and act on God’s calling in their lives. Perhaps we can act like Elizabeth to affirm the way we see God’s calling playing out in the lives of someone we see today. We can help each other see the ways that God empowers us for callings in order to more fully rejoice and expectantly wait for God’s indwelling power.
For nothing will be impossible for God.
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