*During Advent, Pastor Cody is writing weekly advent readings for the Sunday worship gathering. Each reading will be posted for further reflection. Enjoy and share!
Advent Reading \\ Peace
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name 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 father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
(Luke 1:26-33 ESV)
Mary is often associated with peace during the advent season. Yet, has anyone ever had more reason to be anxious? Imagine the pressure Mary was under! The angel tells her she will miraculously conceive and give birth to the Son of God. Her firstborn son will reign on David’s throne forever. No pressure – you’re only raising the most important human to ever live on the earth! Mary, the symbol of peace, has plenty of reason to be anything but peaceful.
Mary’s response to the angel Gabriel was to say, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” Would this be your response? Mary’s words display a peace that comes from something other than circumstances.
Peace does not come from complete understanding. She doesn’t fully understand how she will become pregnant or how she will know how to raise God’s chosen one. She didn’t even fully understand the angel speaking to her. Peace came from somewhere else.
Peace did not come from denial. It might be tempting to hear Gabriel’s message and pass it off as a crazy dream. Sometimes it seems easier to have peace with a situation when the ugly gritty details are glossed over. But Mary didn’t deny the truth, she accepted it because her peace came from somewhere else.
Mary’s peace comes from being a servant of God. As God commands, Mary says, “Let it be so.” When God is God and we serve his purposes, we have peace. When this order is upset – when we expect God to serve our purposes – we have anxiety.
This morning we can admit to God all the ways we expect him to serve us, and we can place ourselves in the correct position of God’s servants. Like Mary, we can say, “Let it be to me according to your word.” When we do, we will find peace no matter our circumstances.