CHRISTMAS MESSAGE: Mary’s challenge and submission
MARY SAID UNTO the angel, ‘How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?’ This query by Mary is not one of disbelief or disdain but was borne out of a determination to get to the bottom of the matter.
Mary’s rejoinder is not one which is replicated in serious numbers in today’s promiscuous society. In these times, to surrender ones virginity seems to be a badge of honour. Not so with Mary, hence the reason for her seeming challenge to the messenger of God.
The angel’s reply was one of incalculable value that transcends generations, culture, ethnicity, social standing and financial position. The Divine words quoted in St Luke’s Gospel chapter 1:37 ‘for with God nothing shall be impossible’; removed any semblance of trepidation or doubt still lingering in Mary’s mind.
Those words gave Mary a renewed hope and the confidence to face the moral and social backlash she perceived would have come her way by accepting the call to be the mother of the Christ Child.
As we celebrate another epiphany, let the words of the angel’s reply serve to concretise our faith in Jehovah, The Great “I Am”. Like Mary, we face an uncertain future. As Christians living in an increasingly aggressive secular society, we will be subjected to further criticism for living a life of Faith and Holiness.
We also live in an age where international and national finances are characterised by fraud, bribery, greed and general selfishness. You may be among the many whose future look bleak. Do not throw your arms in the air in frustration and despair, rather take hold of the words of the angel to Mary “… With God nothing shall be impossible.” Let them comfort, strengthen and keep you. Our only hope remains in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
We can exercise that kind of faith to accept, unequivocally and unquestioningly that with God, The Heavenly Father, all things are possible. Once we can reach that level of confidence in The Most High we can freely and uninhibitedly reach the place of total surrender similar to Mary’s and which is recorded in St Luke 1:38 ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word’.
Enjoy the fellowship, the fun. Enjoy the food but above all else, be engaged in committing to the Father’s Will. It is still the best place to be.
God bless each of you and may your coming year be better than the outgoing one.