““I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.”
You don’t learn to take big public leaps of faith and obedience without first learning to take hundreds of private steps of faith and obedience.
A marathon runner has to turn a walk into a jog into a run. There’s training behind the gifting.
A student doesn’t begin a dissertation without first learning the art of independent study, analytical thinking and writing with their own voice.
A teenager doesn’t have the reflex muscle of faith and obedience to give God a “yes” to his extraordinary invitation to become miraculously pregnant and carry the presence of God, Jesus himself, into the world, out of nowhere. Mary must have lived her young life taking hundreds of private steps of faithfulness to God, choosing to trust him with her life, learning in turn that God is faithful every single time.
A life of a thousand secret yeses is how you get a big courageous yes to the invitation of an angel.
Mary is an extraordinary disciple of Jesus as well as his mum.
Her life is one that consistently shows us what it looks like to point towards Jesus and to not let him go.
Even at the cross, Mary is one of the few who stays and still holds on to hope in Jesus being everything that was promised, the Messiah, the one who had come to make God knowable and bring us back into relationship with him.
Tomorrow, on Christmas Day, we will celebrate Jesus being faithful, the promise being true, the hope being real and God being so disarmingly close at hand. But today on the eve of this marking moment of God’s faithfulness, why not take a moment to consider how we might live lives shaped by God’s faithfulness in our daily choices and yeses to him. We can be more like Mary, practicing the discipline and adventure of learning to trust God as we grow up, stepping out time and time again in small courageous moments of faith and obedience. Everything is preparation. Every yes strengthens our default position towards trusting God and wanting to follow him.
Then on the day an angel calls, on the day we sense God’s invitation to take a giant leap towards trusting him and his will for our lives, we won’t be found clueless as to God’s character, or unable to recognise his voice. In the thousand secret yeses we discover Emmanuel, God with us, and for us, and so we are able to live into an extraordinary story of faith, obedience and life in all its fullness.
Thank you God for your yes over us, as you choose to meet us and love us and work with us. May we all be yes men and women back to you, one step at a time.