Advent 2018 – Day Twenty – Happy
It was hard to pick a song for today but I decided to go for Happy by Pharrell Williams.
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
As we read the story of the annunciation it is perhaps too easy to pass over the risks that Mary faced. It is not so long ago, in our own country, that unmarried mothers would have faced being locked away as insane or forced into an institution where unspeakable things would happen to them and their babies.
Mary also faced real dangers of alienation, destitution and even death, yet she responds quickly and positively to God’s call. She is indeed an example of a faithful servant.
As we hurry through the season of Advent we look for those life changing challenges God offers to us and to those around us. Challenges which we may see as too difficult, inconvienient, dangerous to our status quo or just plain scary and we remember that you are the one who calls us, you are the one who equips us and you are the one who holds us in your arms of love, every moment of our lives. Let us be happy and joyful as we throw ourselves into your service this Advent time.
A Reflection I wrote on Mary from the Hatfield Road carol service in 2015.
As a light? In a blaze of heavenly glory.
In the fire? As God appeared to Moses in the bush.
As a drop of water? Into the calmness of the bowl.
Were the words he spoke audible? visible? visceral?
Were they heard loud and clear or as whispers in her ear?
Surprised perhaps but not afraid.
Prepared to listen, hear, obey.
Ready to follow where God called her.
Change her life in every way.
Would I do the same? If he called me today.
Would you do the same? If he called you today.
Luke 1:26-38 New International Version (NIV)
The Birth of Jesus Foretold
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.”
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
Prayers and Reflection
Hymn: Singing the Faith – – The angel Gabriel from heaven came.
“…Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.”.
Let us pray together.
Think of the saying in order to understand context and meaning,
Feel the meaning of the saying with and in your heart,
Pray, using the saying, for yourself or others. With only a name and without explaining the reasons or pre-defining any answers.
Listen for God’s voice in the quiet of your prayers.
Pray using your own prayers or one of those which have been prepared below.
Lord, help me like Mary to listen to your voice and respond in joy with a resounding Yes! Amen
Lord, we read that wonderful story of Mary and we are inspired by her willingness and joy to do what you ask of her. Help us to hear your voice and respond with our hearts for of anticipation, expectation and joy. Amen.
Help us to see that in times of joy or sorrow that God’s plans are always plans of love.