Sunday, December 15

No Wind at the Window       [John L. Bell 1992]

Oh, Mary, Oh, Mary don't hide from my face
Be glad that you're favored and filled with God's grace
The time for redeeming the world has begun
And you are requested to mother God's son.

Mary is given a title very early in the Christian tradition.  She is named Theotokos - or "Mother of God,"  She is the one who bears God into the world and she is held in reverence because of that.  Bell paraphrases Luke 1:30-33 in this stanza.  And there is more.  Bell preserves the idea that Mary has a choice in this moment.  Becoming the mother of God is not something done to her so much as it is a request to which she replies, "Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word."  We will say more about Mary's "yes" in tomorrow's devotion, but it is enough here to give thanks that her role is voluntary and that her being given a choice is indicative of our circumstance too.  We, too, are given a choice.  Will we be a community of theof√≥roi (God bearers)?

The world is watching the church and its members.  The world wants to see if we are in any discernible way more kind, more just, more authentic, more joyful, and more caring than the world at large.  We each are given the gift of a new day each day to live in and and to share the love of God.  When we work for justice, when we engage in acts of kindness, when we keep about ourselves a proper humility -- we join God in the noble work of redeeming a deeply divided and troubled world.  I am convinced that when the world experiences us as ambassadors of God's reconciling grace, the world will respond to that good news.

So as we approach the middle of Advent let us not grow weary in doing the things that lead to a workable human community.  Let us hear the invitation to bear Christ into the world, and let us each respond, "Here am I . . . how shall I serve?"

Daily Collect:
You are the God who keeps inviting us to join you in the redemption of all creation.  How gracious and how foolish it seems for you to invite people like us into such important work!  We trust, however, that your foolishness is wiser than human wisdom.  So keep sending your angels, and for our part we promise to keep attentively listening, all that you might be glorified and we might join you in the work of reconciliation.  Amen.

Paul Lang