Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for God has looked with favor on the lowliness of God’s servant.” - Luke 1:46b-48 (NRSV)
All her young life Mary had heard the stories: how her people had been saved time and again through this incomplete woman or that flawed man. She learned of burning bushes and holy silence, of dreams and signs, of liars and cheats, murderers, adulterers, and prostitutes who were called by God to do extraordinary things. She could recite the places and times when God had brought down the mighty, lifted up the lowly, and made the impossible imaginable.
More than that, all her life Mary had been told that God wasn’t finished yet, that God’s Anointed One would be coming soon. More than that, everyone Mary knew—and everyone they knew—had spent their lives longing and looking for God’s Chosen One.
Still, despite having been taught to live in faithful expectation of God’s deliverance, Mary had never thought it would come through her.
Until it did.
On this final Sunday of Advent, our anticipation can become almost frantic. So beaten down are we by injustice, so deeply do we yearn for deliverance, so intent are we on looking up and down and hard and close for the arrival of our savior that we can all but forget about God’s favorite delivery system. And yet the lessons of our faith teach us that God loves to work through lives like ours.
Greetings, favored ones. The Lord is with you, and the time is nigh. Do not be afraid, but rather prepare yourselves. For hearts willing, by God indwelling, the world is about to turn.
Come, Lord Jesus. Let it be with me according to your promise.
Vicki Kemper is the Pastor of First Congregational, UCC, of Amherst, Massachusetts.