Dear Kaleid Ladies,
“For with God nothing will be impossible.” - Luke 1:37
Have you been considering Mary this week?
Have you felt her fear--her holy fear at Gabriel’s presence and human fear at his message?
Have you questioned with her--questioned whether God had the right woman and, if so, how her unprepared life could possibly fulfill His mysterious calling?
Have you resonated with her need for the joyful companionship of her friend, mentor, and cousin, Elizabeth?
Have you seen yourself in Mary’s fear, her wonder, her questions, or her need for a good friend?
In her conversation with Gabriel (after she voiced her fear) Mary asked the very logical question, “How?” Her womb was an impossible place for any life to grow, mainly because she was a virgin.
Gabriel was patiently undeterred by her question and reminded her that God, through His Spirit, can plant anything, anywhere, anytime by His power and presence. “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you…with God, nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:35, 37)
There is a famous Jesus story in Matthew 19 that echoes this Gabriel-Mary conversation. Jesus has a loving conversation with a “rich young ruler” who wants to inherit eternal life. He commends the guy for his good character and tells him to sell all that he has, give it to the poor, and follow Him. When the young man goes away sad because he cannot accept the terms of the invitation, the disciples are flummoxed. Their culturally-based assumption is that rich people are God’s favorite people, and so they ask a shocked, fearful question which is basically, “Jesus, who on earth can have salvation if even the favored rich are excluded?” Jesus’ answer to the disciples is Gabriel’s answer to Mary: “with God, all things are possible.” No human has what it takes to grow God-life. But God, through His Spirit, can plant anything, anywhere, anytime by His power and presence.
Inhospitable wombs, both literal and figurative, require the presence and power of God to be in grow life. Healing-life. Saving-life. Following-God-life. Eternal-life. Life grows when God moves in the inhospitable spaces and grows new things.
No doubt Mary was uncomfortable with the growing God-life inside of her. Her womb was cramped, stretched, kicked, and distorted with the growing life. In her season of transition, between her moment of surrendered belief and her moment of bonding with her divine child, she was uncomfortable. Sometimes, we recognize that God is visiting a dormant space in our lives in order to bring His life. He plants His presence and His power, and we experience a season of stretching and transition. May we be reminded even in our dark transition seasons that God is the loving agent, God is the powerful presence, and God’s life is the outcome. And, as God-life grows, we are invited to come in the spirit of Mary--human, questioning, wrestling, faithful, surrendered.
This week, we invite you to consider a Mary-inspired Advent question: What is God wanting to grow in you that can help heal the world? May we each open our lives to Him as He grows His life in us.
The Kaleid Team