Thursday 9 January 2020

Advent 4 Mary

So God chooses a rather unlikely messenger in Mary. In the gospel story in Luke 1, an angel visits Mary. She’s young and not yet married. She wouldn’t be allowed to be out in public alone. 

Mary doesn’t seem to have any power. A Northern girl. But God chose Mary, just a girl. (Greta Thurnburg?)

In the opening scene of our story that would turn the world upside down, God casts Mary in the leading role. To her, God entrusts the world’s most treasured message. A message of radical, social change, begun with someone insignificant.

 In Luke 1, Mary sings:

“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, because he has recognised my humble state… he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.” 

As Mary sings, she is speaking of a God who decides that the best way to spread the good news, the gospel message of spiritual and social revolution, is to begin with those who aren’t usually given a voice. Someone on the edge. But Mary however humble has a good pedigree. Her linage, ancestors lead us back to David, back to Aron, Adam and Eve. 

Unlikely messengers are unexpected people who are used to challenge and transform our way of thinking. Can you think of any examples of unlikely messengers in your life?

Light into darkness, hope into hopeless situations. Advent or Adventus in the Latin means waiting, waiting for the baby born to be Messiah. Immanuel, God with us.

The Magnificat in Luke 1, sung by Mary as she carries the baby born to be such an important person in human history, gives us hope, of justice, of relief from poverty, of healing.

How can we make sure Mary’s prophecy of radical change begins to become a reality? As Christians, how can we ensure that the voices of insignificant people are heard.

The Christmas story goes on to release its power through the childless, the dumb, the poor. 

The message of hope that the Christmas story brings is like the golden thread that runs through the story of Gods people. For many of us we need to feel the brush of angel’s wings and the whisper of hope this Advent, this waiting time. God given hope is not optimism. It happens. Its real.

A little candlelight burning in the darkness is a symbol of Christmas. May this Christmas be a vehicle, a carrier of hope for us all to feed our spirits and our imaginations and to inspire us, with the angel’s message, to bring hope and peace on earth. 

Of such stuff are dreams made of and of such stuff is the journey we take as we follow this Light of Lights.


Loving God,
even in the darkest of places and bleakest moments helps us to see and enable the light to shine.



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