the wonder, mary

This is the 1st draft of ‘Mary: surrenders her future’
The final bit is posted beneath

Advent wonder, a mother’s generous song
The two most visible characters in the Advent narrative, Mary and the Jesus, are, on the face of it, the ones with the least to give: a baby child and his mother. What could they give? Mary was probably about fifteen years old when the Angel Gabriel approached her with the news of a child’s birth. At the time, it was hardly welcome news. She was engaged to Joseph but not married. In a moment she became an unwed pregnant teenage girl, open to gossip and speculation. According to the Torah, she could be stoned. The destiny of her child would provoke jealousy from earthly rulers such as Herod. So how does Mary respond? She gives her body and her soul. To her, giving her body represents her future: her planned future with her betrothed, Joseph, now ended; her economic future, her whole life plan is changed. All is uncertainty.
Yet, in the midst of great unknown she composes a soul-filled song, the first song ever composed about Jesus’ birth. It is a song of generosity. It is a song that speaks of her understanding of who her son is. She surrenders her future, her body and her soul to glorify God. Mary is the first person to experience a life-saving salvation, the ‘good news.’ It begins, ‘My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.’ Her song proclaims the Good News, the Gospel of Jesus and she sings to God, the Father. The world of Mary’s time called the Emperor Augustus, ‘Saviour; Son of God; Bringer of Peace’. At Augustus’ inauguration the whole of the empire heard the official Roman proclamation of ‘Pax Romana,’ or peace and ‘good news.’ The Roman world longed for salvation. Mary’s body and soul sings of the coming of that salvation.
I wonder if she sung this same song to Jesus after his birth? I wonder if she told him of her closing thoughtful response to the Angel Gabriel, ‘I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.’?
Years later, in a garden, the man Jesus was asked to take on the sins of the world. He prayerfully said to the Father, ‘Not my will. Yours be done.’ Jesus, the son of God, does the Father’s will. And he echoed his mother’s words. Her song.
What songs will you sing at Christmas time? Will your voice echo Mary’s, remembering and rejoicing in the ‘Mighty things’ He has done for you and surrendering to his plans?
This is what Mary gives: her body, her life and she gives them in joyful song. She sings ‘the Mighty One has done great things for me.’ Mary sings for Him. For us. She teaches souls to sing.
Reflect: what will you surrender?

And below is what we posted on ‘Stewardship’ web site for Advent Wonder

________________________________________

________________________________________

Mary: surrenders her future

“Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38
Mary was probably about fifteen years old when the Angel Gabriel approached her with the news of a child’s birth. At the time, it was hardly welcome news. She was engaged to Joseph but not married. In a moment she became an unwed pregnant teenage girl, open to gossip and speculation. According to the Torah, she could be stoned: her life, and her unborn child’s life, were in Joseph’s hands. Physically, her body would never be the same again after the rigours of pregnancy and childbirth. The destiny of her child would provoke jealousy from earthly rulers such as Herod. Her life had been mapped out with Joseph creating a family with economic security, but now everything hung in the balance. So how does Mary react? Her response is generous. She surrenders her plans and her future and plunges her life into uncertainty.
Yet, in the midst of great unknown she composes a song of praise and worship: the first song ever composed about Jesus’ birth. It is a song of generosity. It is a song that speaks of her understanding of who her son is. It begins, ‘My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.’ (Luke 1:46)
Mary is the first person to experience authentic salvation – the good news – and she proclaims it extravagantly.
What songs will you sing at Christmas time? Will your voice echo Mary’s, remembering and rejoicing in the ‘mighty things’ (Luke 1: 49) he has done for you? Are you surrendering to his plans?
________________________________________

In your journal…

Mary held nothing back – she gave everything that she had when the call came. Are you holding anything back? What prevents you from being generous? For some, it might go beyond financial limitations. It might be an emotional thing – a fear of not having enough yourself. It may be a relational thing – perhaps those closest to you don’t share your views about giving. Whatever your reasons, take some time over the weekend to grapple with them, and surrender them to God.
________________________________________

#adventwonder on the web:

________________________________________
share this email:

________________________________________
Stewardship is the operating name of Stewardship Services (UKET) Limited. Established in 1906.
Registered charity no. 234714, and a company limited by guarantee, registered in England no. 90305.
Registered office: Oakwood House, Oakwood Hill Industrial Estate, Loughton, Essex IG10 3TZ

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s