Advent 4 - Mary, the mother of Jesus
by Peter Blount 18 December 2022
Welcome to ‘Sharing Our Faith’ On this Fourth Sunday in Advent
This week, as you can see from the picture, we light the fourth candle to remember Mary, Jesus’ Mother, who simply and gladly responded to the call of God.
In the second part of Chapter 1, Luke records the story from Mary’s first encounter with the Angel through to the birth of Jesus.
Imagine – a young woman living a simple village life, having recently found the man of her dreams and contemplating marriage. Then one day, much to her shock and surprise, an Angel appears and actually speaks to her in a language she obviously understood. ‘Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you’.
The Angel also said ‘Do not be afraid!’ and went on explain how she, Mary, had been chosen, by God, and the Holy Spirit would prepare her for all that was to happen in the months ahead.
Mary’s eventual replay to the Angel was two fold – ‘I am the Lord’s servant’. And ‘may your word to me be fulfilled’.
Of course, as we read on in chapter 2 there the birth of Jesus occurred as the Angel had predicted, may be at least for Mary, not under the circumstances or conditions she would have chosen. Nevertheless, because of her willingness to gladly respond to God’s call – history was made in a lonely, dirty stable, surrounded by animals when a baby was born, destined to be Saviour and Lord.
So, think for a minute on Mary's encounter with the angel.
There was a greeting, an assurance she was special, a description of what God wanted her to do, a promise of support and a prediction of what would happen if she responded positively.
Mary recognised the message sender, God himself, and submitted herself to His wishes.
Are not those last two sentences an exact description of how God still call us to follow Him and work on His behalf, so that others would know Him as Saviour and Lord? The fact that we may be prompted into action at any time, especially at Christmas, is a sign that our God, the Lord Jesus, despite going through the cross is still calling his servants today.
It is my prayer that our response will be the same as Mary’s ‘I am the Lord's servant, may your word be fulfilled in me’.
As we hear familiar Christmas music on TV, radio and in Church may we find time for this short prayer :-
God of all, in these troubled times, continue to speak through your angels
that all may be blessed, strengthened and encouraged.
In Jesus name AMEN