I’ve always admired Mary. Ever since I portrayed her in a series of advent monologues at church one year, her story has been real to me. God gave her a tremendous task and she fulfilled it boldly.
I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.
I often wonder what I am called to do with my life. I have dreams, ideas, and passions, but how am I to know which of those is what the Lord desires? Options are set before me, but I often shy away from the challenge of certain callings. Sometimes, my greatest desires seem too odd and revolutionary to be Godly.
But then I think about Mary. She had dreams, ideas, and passions, I am sure. Did she end up doing any of those? I don’t really know. I do know that she did the Lord’s will. Was her task challenging? Certainly. I think we often forget how very challenging it was — we like to gloss her over with halos and carols, but she risked scandal, ruin, and even death for the sake of her mission. Did this calling make sense? No, not at first. Perhaps the stable birth never made sense in her time though now we certainly know the greatness of this calling.
In a way, we all have Mary’s calling for this task did not disappear upon Christ’s birth. Mary was called to bare Jesus, the son of God. While she fulfilled this in a literal way, we are also called to bare Him in our daily lives. As His children, we are to shine like stars against a dark earth and mend a broken generation. Jesus has come and gone back to heaven, but it is our calling to keep His image alive on earth.
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
This is the calling of Christmas — to love as God loved, to change the world as Christ changed it, and to answer the call as Mary responded. It started with the angel’s message and Mary and Joseph and that birth in the stable, but the calling continues today. The question is: will we fulfill it?
Tonight in church, I felt a certain peace as we sang the familiar carols together. It was a beautiful service with candles and singing and scripture. But more importantly, I recongized my calling and grabbed hold of it. I’ve known this calling before, but I have disobeyed and let it go many times. I accepted it once again and endeavoured to take the calling of Christmas with me, both in this holiday season and forevemore.