I am the Lord’s servant

Today in our liturgical calendar, on the 25th March, we find ourselves celebrating the Feast of the Annunciation – a day where Mary, the future mother of Jesus, had her world turned upside down and her future radically re-shaped.  Still a young girl, living in a conservative and religious society, there’s no doubt that news of an unplanned pregnancy, before her marriage to Joseph is solemnised is going to create some upheaval.

Mary listens as the Angel Gabriel tells her that she has been chosen to be the mother of God’s Son – God incarnate on earth – “and he shall be called Emmanuel”.  God with us.

What courage it takes for her to bow her head and accept such an enormous life change with the simple words “I am the Lord’s servant.  Let it be as God has said”.

Could we have found the courage to say the same?

I wonder how we are adapting to the current and very sudden change in our own lifestyles.  Whilst not facing scandal or the wagging tongues of our communities, we are each called upon now to metaphorically bow our heads and accept an instruction that leads to isolation, social distancing and suspicion… perhaps not so different to Mary after all.

 

Could we have found the courage to say the same?

On hearing this news, we are told Mary then retreats – she goes to stay with her relative Elizabeth and to share in her confinement after her own unexpected arrival – the birth of John the Baptist.  Mary is aware that life is shifting and changing before her and that things will be forever different, so she goes and takes stock.  She praises God in the midst of her turmoil and then waits for God’s plans to unfold.

 

We are each in an enforced time of retreat – a time where we need to take stock of the society we live in, the priorities we held (versus the things we find we are now worried about) and what God is asking us to do as a result of this upheaval.  The lessons we learn in this time will shape our churches, our communities and our world as a whole.  It is an uncomfortable and unsettling experience but we are asked to rise to the challenge.  To seek God through the pain and trust that he can bring good from the most desperate of situations.

  • What does God ask of you in this time?
  • What do you need to ask of God?

Like Mary, this isn’t quite what we imagined life to look like, but God is good and if we trust in him, he will work out his purposes through his people.

Lisa Holt
Learning Mentor for Passionate Spirituality and Inspiring Worship.