SUNDAY, DECEMBER 20
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.
FINDING LOVE IN LETTING IT BE
The year was 1970… I was an insecure and anxious young teen. My brother Ted brought his turntable out to the kitchen table, placed his new record album on it, and introduced us to a new song by The Beatles, “Let it Be.” My mom, sister, and I joined Ted in a quiet reverence as we heard the gentle, comforting lyrics and tune. I regard this as a holy time in my life; the music touched my soul deeply with a feeling of peaceful surrender.
When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, “Let it be…”
And in my hour of darkness, she is standing right in front of me, speaking words of wisdom, “Let it be…”
The Mother Mary in the song refers to Paul McCartney’s mother, not our beloved Mary from the passage for today. Still, the lyrics are very similar to Mary’s words to the angel of God, “Let it be with me according to your word.”
Now, fifty years later, I am often an insecure and anxious adult during this pandemic time, and perhaps you are, too. We have been enduring a time of long-lasting limbo, as we continue to wait for the Covid vaccine and a new normalcy that will return one day. But we encounter other times of limbo throughout our lives, don’t we? We may have the unsettled limbo of wondering when we will find work, what the lab tests will show, whether a loved one is safe, or when a better day will come.
Where do we find the Advent love in the limbo?
When the angel of God appeared to Mary, her life was suddenly thrown into a time of great limbo and uncertainty… What will Joseph think? Will I be okay? What about my reputation? Will people believe my story? How will I raise this child? Will I be good enough? Yet, Mary had exactly what she needed for this time; she had the certainty of God’s love. So, in trusting obedience, she gently and humbly surrendered her whole body and her whole life to God:
“Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”
This is where we find our Advent love in this trying time of limbo. In our trusting certainty of God’s love, we choose to let it be. We choose to let it be with us according to God’s love for us and the world. We choose to let ourselves be in God’s good hands, and let God guide our lives, fill our hearts with love, and live in us today. Whatever is in store, whatever we may face, we humbly and fully let ourselves be God’s. We let it be with us according to God’s word – the certainty of God’s universal love, shown to us through Jesus, shining as a beacon for us all.
And when the night is cloudy, there is still a light that shines on me. Shine until tomorrow…
Let it be.
Our reading for Tuesday will be 2 Samuel 7:1-11,16.
Bible verses taken from https://www.biblegateway.com/
The Beatles Let It Be; Released on: 1970-05-08 Producer: Phil Spector Composer Lyricist: John Lennon Composer Lyricist: Paul McCartney