"Hello, Mary." The two words make me smile because my first name is Mary . . . Mary Christine. "Ave, Maria", the angel Gabriel spoke to Mary. In Latin, it means Greetings, Mary or Hello. 'Mary, you are going to have a son--a holy son--the one and only Son of God. You are highly esteemed by God, and this is how it will happen …' 1 [the picture on the right is a beautiful sculpture of Mary at the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth, which we will view in our February journey! You can still go with us if you want!] Gabriel's concluding comment to Mary is powerful: Nothing is impossible with God Nothing is impossible with God2, the angel said. Let me ask you something, Friend--what have you decided is impossible? On what have you given up? What is the mountain that you just can't get over, around or through? What are the impossible odds you are facing? Take heart! Nothing is impossible with God.
After asking, 'but how could this be?' consider with me Mary's humble, soulful response; "I am the Lord's servant, may it be to me as you have said." What is so significant here is her complete surrender to God's will for her--even though she no doubt shuddered at the questions, the shame, the shunning she was to endure. Hmmm.... is it possible that those who are humble surrender to God more easily? Is that why God is so moved by the humble of heart? Hmmm. Mary was a stand alone woman of God ~ so very young and so full of faith, trusting God's goodness. She did not have many answers about what lay ahead, as it was sure to be fraught with difficulties, yet she believed that God had a plan and she would trust him. It reminds me of what Jesus said, Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.3 I wonder if I would have submitted as easily as Mary, despite her angelic visit--would you? As we are drawing to a close the year 2022, are you willing to trust your unknown future to an unseen God? Hmmm. Well, soon after the miraculous announcement, Mary traveled to the home of her cousin Elizabeth, who offered Mary these words of affirmation, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear. . . Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!"4 How the words must have blessed Mary and affirmed what the angel had told her --that she was carrying the Son of God in her womb. Mary's heart was filled to overflowing with gratefulness, and she was moved to sing praises to God. How right, how good it is to praise God when we experience a touch of the divine. Note: it is not necessary to fully understand or know where the Divine is leading; it is ours to trust and to praise him in the journey--difficult as it may be. After spending time with Elizabeth and experiencing the birth of her nephew, John, (who we call 'the-Baptist'), Mary returned home to Nazareth. She had to tell her family that she was expecting a child, though not just any child; how could they possibly understand? Surely they would not believe that she was carrying the Messiah in her womb!! What difficulty and shame they would face in the little town. And now, back to you - do you believe that ‘nothing is impossible with God’? With what do you need to trust Him? Perhaps, as with Mary and Joseph, it is about surrender—giving up perceived control for that which God desires to do in our lives. Hmmm. In the 70s there was a silly lapel button that said, "Try God." It really bugged me then, because I saw it as flippant, but now I see simple wisdom in it. Though we have doubts, though there might be fears--like, 'what if I trust God to do this or that, and he doesn't come through?' How would you be any worse off then, friend? Why not TRY GOD? Why not TRUST GOD? What do you have to lose in surrendering yourself to your Maker, the one who loves you completely? Ave, Maria. We want to learn from your humble and righteous trust, and like you, we want to truly believe that nothing is impossible with God. Prayer: Lord, God? While we know in our minds that nothing is impossible with you, we do not often live it out in our daily lives. May we trust you and give all of ourselves over to who you are, believing as Mary did, that nothing is impossible with you. Amen. Friends, God speaks, sometimes through what we see as impossible, but in him, is truly possible. Let us pursue him for more, let us ask him for all he has in mind for us--not just the possible, but the impossible--especially now at this sacred time of year as we remember the miraculous birth of the Savior. In Jesus' Name, the possible-- You've got to see the lyrics in the song. My prayer for you, for breakthrough, for the impossible! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqHjjZz1Syg With love, Christine 1 - Luke 1.26-38 2 - Luke 1.37, King James Version 3 - John 20.29 4 - Luke 1.44