The Handmaiden of the Lord

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. – Luke 1:34-38

It occured to me this morning that maybe I know a little about how Mary might have felt. Lately I keep thinking God must be crazy. Why am I feeling called? Why me, of all people? The seminary info has started arriving. Campus visits, degree information, all of that stuff. I don’t have any idea of I can even do it. What if I flake out? What if it’s too much?

When we think of Mary’s story, it’s super-romanticized. Mary’s all beautiful, and the angel’s beautiful, and streams of light radiate on Mary’s face, and all that pretty stuff. It’s the kind of scene that you want to frame and hang on the wall. Kind of like the Sallman Jesus, with healthy, conditioned hair and all that.

The angel had to say “do not be afraid.” Mary was signing up for pregnancy as an unwed mother. This had to be hard – seems like nothing good was going to come out of it, but she said yes anyway. So maybe it’s for me like it was for her. Assuming I can manage to arrange seminary part-time, I am afraid of the work. But I can’t deny it – it’s where I have to go. I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t. I don’t know if I’ll make it. But, I can’t help but say yes. Stop thinking ahead. Stop worrying about whether I can get a call. Stop worrying about what I’m going to do later. Just say yes now and let it happen according to Your Word, Lord.

I guess I’ll be the servant of the Lord. In you, O Lord, I seek refuge; do not ever let me be put to shame (Psalm 31, y’all).

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