“You will be with child and give birth to a son…“.
Suddenly, life was different than she thought it would be. Mary was blessed, highly favored, a virgin planning to be married, and live the life of a carpenter’s wife. She may have been dreaming of her wedding, perhaps even nervous about her wedding night. And in one moment, her small story gave way to a bigger story, as what had been possible gave way to what was impossible.
A virgin would give birth to God.
And from her came a most beautiful sound. “I am the Lord’s servant…May it be to me as you have said.”
( The word is doulē – the feminine form of doulos.)
It is the sound of trust, of devotion, of one who does not count her life as her own. The sound of one who does not grip her own story, with all of its plans, hopes, and dreams. One who is willing to let her life bring forth God’s glory, no matter the cost.
It is the core of our Christianity, is it not? This impossible birthing of God from the womb of a virgin. Those of us who are followers of Christ do not question the truth of Mary’s story. What others celebrate once a year, we hold in our hearts every day.
Mary, blessed and favored by God. Chosen to carry Christ.
“To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
We too are blessed, having been chosen to carry Christ in us. The living God, dwelling in the hearts of those who follow.
So why is it so hard for us, this doulos life?
Christ is in us. God is for us. What do we lack?
What keeps us gripping our own story, our own plans, with our arms wrapped around our cisterns that do not hold water?
Christ is in us and God is for us. What should we fear?
That life will not go as we had planned? That we will not be in control? That our small story is all we have and if we lose that what is left? Are we afraid that what God has said is really true…that are lives are no longer ours to have and to hold?
I pray for us. I pray for me. I pray that by the power of Christ in us and God for us, we will stop. Stop gripping and fearing and chasing down what is possible.
This Christmas we will once again declare our faith in the impossible. Let us not stop there.
Let us turn, with our hands emptied of our own story, and speak beautiful words to God.
“I am Your doulos…may it be to me as You have said.”
May our lives birth glory as we lay them down.
Luke 1:31; Luke 1:38; Colossians 1:27; Romans 8:31;