I know, I know. It’s not Christmas time, but I can’t get this song out of my head today. In my congregation, we use Holden Evening Prayer as the setting for mid-week Lenten Worship and the Magnificat/Annunciation is part of the liturgy. I sat as a young woman named Valerie sang the intro and led the congregation in the singing of the rest of the song. I have had the privilege of watching a little girl of 5 years old blossom from a shy child to a beautiful young lady willing to share her God-given gift of song with our faith community. For some reason, she reminded me of Mary as she raised her voice to the heavens. I felt as if I were in the presence of the young Mary and God spoke to me through Valerie.
I woke up this morning filled with a sense of awe and wonder at the willingness of Mary, a very young woman living in the backwater town of Nazareth to be the Mother of Our Lord. Even though she may have been only 13 or 14 years old, she was engaged to Joseph the carpenter. They were betrothed, but had not yet completed the marriage rites and did not live together as man and wife. Then out of nowhere an angel of the Lord came to her and gave her some very shocking news: Mary, you’re gonna have a baby, you’ll name him Jesus, and he will be the Chosen One of God Most High. Huh? What’d ya’ say? I can’t imagine the fear and confusion Mary must have experienced at that moment. But the angel assured her that God would be with her every step of the way. Mary said "Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word." (Luke 1:38)
We have no idea what she knew or didn’t know about what her and her son’s life would be like. What we do know from Scripture is that Mary was there from the beginning to the end of Jesus’ life. She gave him life then stood at the foot of the Cross and watched him die. From her, we learn to place our complete trust in God and surrender our lives to the Chosen One of God Most High.
I often struggle with the not knowing part of life. What’s going to happen today? Tomorrow? Next week, next year? Am I doing God's will? Have I found favor with Him? I find it difficult at times to wait and listen for God to tell me what life holds in store for me. But then I remember Mary. She didn’t know what she was signing up for. Facing public humiliation, divorce, maybe even death, she trusted so completely in the promises of God that she willingly followed God into the great unknown that would be her life. I pray that I continue on the road to that kind of trust as I wait upon the Lord. I also pray for Valerie that she will continue to use her gifts to sing praises to our God. And I will pray for all those who wait upon the Lord.
but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
If you want to read the Magnificat, grab your Bible and turn to Luke 1:26-38.
Waiting on the Lord,