“The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.’” (Luke 1:30)
Of three possible responses to fear – fight, flight or freeze, Mary is, perhaps, frozen by the appearance of the angel, whose greeting and message leave her perplexed and pondering.
But fear doesn’t paralyze Mary, who instead is suspended in time as the angel foretells her destiny to bear the Son of God. Fully awakened by the angel’s declaration, “For nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1:37), Mary accepts her destiny.
What Mary’s witness proclaims is the solidarity that emerges when we share a dream that perplexes us into pondering what God intends for and requires of us. In his posthumous letter, the late Congressman John Lewis writes of such solidarity:
“Millions of people motivated simply by human compassion laid down the burdens of division. Around the country and the world, you set aside race, class, age, language and nationality to demand respect for human dignity.”
People motivated simply by human compassion become the love that rights wrongs and does justice.
This video meditation lights the fourth candle of Advent: the Candle of Love.
Related Advent sermons:
“Like Those Who Dream,” from Mark 13:24-37, about Jesus’s caution to “keep awake” for his return.
“Something New Begins,” from Mark 1:1-8, about “preparing the way” for Jesus to enter our lives.
“Connecting the Dots,” from Luke 1:39-56, about Mary’s song of praise for God choosing her to be the bearer of God’s dreams