Advent is a strange season…a season of hopes and dreams…a season of promises fulfilled and of promises yet to be fulfilled…a season of the Reign of God, that which is bursting forth and at the same time not yet fully here. Advent is counter cultural on so many levels. In a season when it seems the whole world begins to spin ever faster we are called to slow down, to spend time in prayer and reflection, to spend time thinking about the deeper realities of our lives in the midst of the pandemic.
Part of this season’s story is about a young girl living in a male dominated world where women were treated as property. But, she breaks free from the bonds of obscurity and insignificance and becomes the heroine. A young girl named Mary said “yes” to an impossible proposition. ”Yes” to what must have seemed totally absurd. Imagine yourself in Mary’s place: a heavenly visitor telling you that God, The Creator of all things -- visible and invisible -- was “asking” you to be the mother of the long awaited Messiah. The whole idea that God would choose to become human -- one like us -- and enter into our world as a vulnerable and innocent child is almost too much to comprehend. And yet she said “yes”. And, her yes changed the world forever! To this very day… right now…her yes is still changing the world because the Risen Christ is in our midst! Because of her yes we can profess “we are the Body of Christ!”
What is God calling me to say yes to as a member of the Body of Christ? As I say yes to God, can I say yes to the immigrants and refugees, yes to the women and girls assaulted and abused by the misogyny that is the very fabric of almost every culture in every country? Can I say yes to refusing to participate in racism and bigotry in my words, actions and thoughts? Can I say yes to reaching out in love to even those who have hurt me or whom I have hurt?
Am I brave enough to risk it all like that young girl, from a dusty little backwater town, some two thousand years ago and say yes to God and to what God has in mind for me? Am I willing to risk, like Mary, and say “yes” to God, in the midst of the chaos, fear and sorrow of this pandemic, not knowing where it will lead me…just trusting that God will walk with me on the journey?