The angel said to Mary, “I invite you to join in God’s work. I cannot force you to accept it; the choice is yours.”
Mary, with both dread and excitement, heard herself saying, “I accept; I will do as you say.”
And in that instant, the angel was gone. Mary blinked, and thought, “Did that really happen?” It had seemed like a dream, and yet it was very real. Mary quickly decided that she would visit her aunt Elizabeth. She would leave the next day. But for now, there was work to be done. And she plunged herself into the daily activities of cooking, gathering fuel, getting water, mending clothes, tending the garden, and sweeping the floors.
Nine months later, after journeying to visit Elizabeth and traveling to Bethlehem, she gave birth to the Messiah of Israel, the Son of God, in whose name we are called to trust God, love neighbor, and care for creation.
Heavenly Father, thank you for Mary’s trust in you. Help us to follow her example, and be led to share the abundant riches of your world with all people. Amen
Note: The image of Mary going to her daily tasks after the angel’s visit is drawn from Roland Bainton’s “Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther.” Describing Luther’s thinking on Mary, Bainton writes: “The Virgin Mary worked, and the most amazing example of her humility is that after receiving the astonishing news that she was to be the mother of the redeemer, she did not vaunt herself but went back and milked the cows, scoured the kettles, and swept the house like any housemaid.”
Second Note: This concludes the 2017 Advent devotion series. May this Advent, and the Christmas season which follows, draw you more deeply into the grace of God.