Sunday, December 21: Fourth Sunday of Advent
In the depths of who I am I rejoice in God my savior.
He has looked with favor on the low status of his servant. Look! From now on, everyone will consider me highly favored
because the mighty one has done great things for me. Holy is his name.
Read Luke 1:47-55
I don’t know about you, but I am not usually thankful for interruptions. In fact, one of the best ways to put me in a foul mood is to interrupt whatever plans I had for the day. Even though I can understand intellectually that interruptions are just part of life, I can’t always get past my own plans and my emotional investment in doing things the way I want to do them. I mean, how can I feel successful in my day, if I can’t do what I want to get done?!
So, I guess it shouldn’t surprise me how much I am always caught off-guard when I think of Mary’s response to the angel’s message about an unexpected pregnancy, an unutterably life-changing event for one such as Mary, let alone for anyone in the 21st century! Often, when my plans don’t work out, I mutter to myself about God not loving me, or something cynical and completely untrue such as that. But look at Mary—from the way scripture tells it, she found the most profound interruption of her life an occasion for praise, a reason to rejoice, an indication that all people would call her blessed! Say what?!
You may not be feeling blessed by the interruptions in your life right now, as Christmas nears us. You may not be feeling especially chosen and loved by the God of the universe, depending on what’s going on in your life...but the truth that we know is that we are loved, no matter how easily we forget that. Because of the saving grace we have experienced through that very unexpected baby of Mary’s, we know that we, too, might be called blessed by all people because of God’s love for us. What would it take for us to live as beloved and chosen servants who praise our Creator and Sustainer, rather than muddled, self-sufficient grouches who think more of our own plans than the Divine’s mysterious ways? Well, it would take a lot for me, some days, but maybe this season, I’ll be able to let God work that out a little bit better than before!
Prayer: Life-giving God, open our hearts to rejoice in your care for us, when our plans work out our way...and when they don’t. Amen.