Dec. 16: Learning from Mary’s strength and patience
Scroll down for complete Scripture.
I can’t imagine what Mary would have felt when she received Gabriel’s message that she would be the mother of Jesus. Mary found herself in circumstances she could not explain. The social ramifications of her pregnancy were daunting, and she must have experienced moments of fear and uncertainty. Part of me likes to think that Mary didn’t accept Gabriel’s message as easily as Luke portrays — that she tried to rationalize with Gabriel, or was even angry with God.
What is so striking about Mary in this story is the way she responded to her situation. Mary chose to glorify God for the gift of a child. Mary is often depicted as being one-dimensional – she is quiet, meek, and acquiescent. However, I think she is a powerful character that warrants our attention; I prefer to think that Mary’s serene responses to Gabriel indicate deep strength rather than mere submission.
Mary is a powerful example of faith. Often, like Mary, we find ourselves in circumstances we did not choose. As Christians our powerful witness to the world lies in how we choose to react to situations. This posture of grace, perseverance and joy in the face of difficulty does not come easily — it comes from unwavering faith in God, and it must be practiced.
Mary is also an example of patience. Advent is a time of waiting as we anticipate the coming of Christ. Mary, perhaps more than anyone, knows what it means to wait, as she spent nine months anticipating the birth of Jesus. Like Mary, we wait for clarity in our difficult situations and anticipate the hope and joy that Jesus brings to our lives.
Peace to you as you wait.