Let it be ... Day three

Let it be ... Day three

Please enjoy today's reflection from our September-December issue of New Daylight.


Let it be...

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 (NRSV)

The account of Jesus’ miraculous conception will tend to polarise opinion between those who hold that anything beyond our normal experience is impossible and those for whom the surprising, even the apparently impossible, can never be beyond a sovereign God.

True, the passage from Isaiah speaks of a ‘young woman’ (Isaiah 7:14) rather than a ‘virgin’; true, neither the gospel writers nor the authors of the epistles make anything of this event in their subsequent writings. We might infer, therefore, that belief in Jesus’ miraculous conception is not absolutely vital for salvation. Why, then, would Matthew and Luke, the meticulous historian, have included such a testimony were it not on good evidence?

In choosing Mary, God recognises one of those for whom nothing is impossible; one whose faith is ‘childlike’ in the positive sense of being trusting, refusing to over-analyse or set oneself up in judgement over the word of God. Understandably, she asks, ‘How?’, but she is content not to understand the detail, the science of the answer. Gabriel has an answer; that is enough. ‘Let it be,’ she says, simply.

Did she have any choice? Perhaps not. Gabriel does not ask; rather he tells her what will happen. But there is a great difference between resignation and positive acceptance of the will of God for us. Sovereign Lord, may we not limit you by the meagreness of our own understanding and experience: expand our minds, fire our imagination, deepen our trust and help us to accept our ‘lot’ as the place where we will find peace and blessing.

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