Advent Reflection #4

When we read the stories of women and men of great faith, we imagine there was no struggle—that they heard the word of God and rushed to obey right away. But the truth is, even when the word of the Lord is clear, obedience is challenging.

In the readings for Advent, we have Zechariah who questioned God about how it could possibly be that he and his wife, both of advanced age, would after many long years of his wife being barren, would give birth to a son who would prepare the people for the coming Messiah. We have Joseph feeling shocked at the news of Mary’s pregnancy and wanting to divorce her but asked by an angel to take Mary home as his wife because she was to give birth to the one who will save the people from their sins. In this, the fourth week of Advent, we will hear in the gospel reading of the Angel Gabriel appearing to Mary to tell her that she will give birth to a son, who she is to call Jesus, for He is to be called the Son of the Most High God. And Mary’s response? She was deeply troubled and asked how could this possibly be? 

These are just three of the many ordinary people in the Bible, leading ordinary lives, who God asks to do extraordinary things. Each one has moments of doubt. Each one must wrestle with their faith. Each one in the end obeys. For God to work through each one of these important players in Salvation History, each one was moved through turbulence, uncertainty, and doubt, to surrender. “Here I am Lord; let it be according to your word”, is Mary’s response.

For Christ to be formed in us, for an invasion of holiness in our lives, even though tempted to fixate on “how can this be?”, may we call out in prayer “Lord, let it be in me according to your word”.

May our morning prayer be “Lord, let it be in me according to your word”, all things I encounter this day. Send your messenger the Holy Spirit to lead and direct me in all circumstances and may I be obedient to you in all things. Give me strength to resist the doubts and uncertainties and courage to face the turbulence as I seek to carry out your will. May I, by your spirit working through me, be a bearer of hope, joy, love, and peace to all this day. 
Peggy Murray
The Light of Christ Anglican Church
Denver, Colorado