“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:30-33).
God’s word to Mary tore her life apart. When we open our lives to God, as Mary did, then anything can happen. You surely get more than you bargained for.
It’s like enjoying a stiff breeze on Brighton pier in preparation for a Siberian winter.
Annie Dillard put it memorably:
“Does any-one have the foggiest idea what sort of power we so blithely invoke? Or, as I suspect, does no one believe a word of it? The churches are children playing on the floor with their chemistry sets, mixing up a batch of TNT to kill a Sunday morning. It is madness to wear ladies’ straw hats and velvet hats to church; we should all be wearing crash helmets. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews.
For the sleeping god may wake some day and take offense, or the waking god may draw us out to where we can never return.”
Lord, I still want to “invite you into my heart.” I want you to come like a hurricane and blow through my unsuspecting life. This Christmas, help me not to trivialize you with clichés or attempt to reduce you to manageable portions.
But truly, truly, help me to live and respond as Mary did -ready for all that you would do through me.
Come Lord Jesus!