Based on the Gospel of Luke, chapter 1, 26-56
[An unusual take on an old story helps bring it to life.]
Well, here at St. John’s Media, we are honoured tonight to have a very special guest with us, someone you have probably heard about but never met. She is one of the most important people in the history of the world, someone who changed everything in our world, and without her and her superpower we wouldn’t even be here tonight. Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming Mary of Nazareth, the Mother of Jesus!
Mary, thank you so much for agreeing to talk with us tonight. Tell us, how did it all begin?
Thanks so much for inviting me. I love to tell this story! Well, I was already engaged to be married to Joseph. And, as you can imagine, I was very busy getting ready for the wedding. And then one day, the angel Gabriel appeared to me and said: “Greetings, you are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.”
Well, as you can imagine, I was very scared. After all, I had never been visited by an angel before. But I think Gabriel knew how I was feeling because he said: “Don’t be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God.” Then he said: “Mary, I have news for you: you are going to have a baby boy!”
Well, I couldn’t believe my ears. How could I possibly have a baby? But Gabriel told me nothing was impossible for God, and that God’s Spirit would miraculously grow the baby inside of me.
Why do you think he chose you, Mary?
That’s a great question. There’s really nothing special about me. But I think God loves to do his work through regular people like you and me—and all the other people in this room—when we are willing to work with him.
Was it difficult saying “Yes”?
Well, it is true that God didn’t force me to say yes. And Gabriel waited while I thought about it, because I knew it would change my life forever. I knew too that lots of people wouldn’t believe me when I told them what the angel had said.
To be honest, I didn’t even know how my own family, and especially Joseph, would react to the news. I mean, he wasn’t the father of the baby, and what if he didn’t want to marry me anymore?
So what exactly made you say “Yes”?
Well, I knew Gabriel’s message was from God, and God loved me and would never do anything mean. And Gabriel had said that God wanted to bless the world through this baby. I also knew that God would give me the strength to do what he wanted. So I said: “I am the Lord’s servant. I’m willing. May it be to me as you have said.”
Had you ever said yes to God before?
Hmm. I guess I had. There was that time the man who lost his job and home asked me for money, and I knew God wanted me to give him some. And I suppose I am saying “yes” to God everyday any time I’m kind and generous to others and do the things that please him.
Have you decided what you will call the baby?
Gabriel was pretty clear that I his name should be “Jesus.” But he also told me that Jesus would be great, that other people would call him the Son of God, and that his kingdom would never end—which is all rather incredible, when you think about it.
What did you do next?
Well, before Gabriel left, he told me that my cousin Elizabeth was pregnant, despite the fact that she had never been able to have children and was now quite old. That was really encouraging! It seems that nothing is impossible for God!
I simply had to go and see her and tell her my news. And I know it sounds crazy, but when I arrived, Elizabeth’s baby was so happy that he jumped up and down in Elizabeth’s tummy! Elizabeth was happy to see me too. She even knew my amazing news before I told her because God had told her already.
That made me so happy that I made up a song to say thank you to God right there and then. And I stayed with Elizabeth for about three months.
You have to tell us: What happened next?
Well, I’m pleased to report that Joseph also believed my amazing news and that we’re still engaged. In fact, we’re heading to his hometown, Bethlehem, this weekend to register for what’s called the census. The Roman king, Caesar Augustus, wants to know how many people live in his empire, so we all have to go so we can be counted. And, as you can see, I am only weeks away from having the baby, so it’s very likely that the baby will be born in Bethlehem.
Mary, thank you so much for sparing the time to talk to us at such a busy time in your life. Goodbye and God bless you. Maybe we can talk to you again after the baby is born?
So there you have it, folks. A very ordinary person with a very great superpower: she said YES to God, and because of that, God came into our world and nothing has ever been the same since.
Would you like to have that superpower too? If you start saying YES to God when God asks you to do a little thing—like being patient, or being generous, or being a good friend—then when God asks you to do a really big thing, you’ll find you have the strength to do it. And God will do amazing things in the world through you too!
Messy Church, December 2015