Thursday, December 17, 2009

Blogging Towards Sunday, December 20th

What's so special about Mary?  In France where I live and work she can be seen as a major source of division between Catholics and Protestants.  Is she the mother of God, or the woman who gives birth to the Promised One?  Was she a virgin? a young maiden?  a liar?  Where today I think Mary is oftentimes (not by any fault of her own) an object of division, she is in fact maybe the opposite, someone to imitate and emulate.

She comes from Nazareth, an everyday town, a nothing-special-town that according to historical records you wouldn't take a detour to visit on a site-seeing road trip.  She's nobody special: sure from a good family line, but she's not someone pursued by the paparazzi in a Lady Gaga sort of way.  She the every-day-woman.  She stands out because of her faith: she believes what she is told by God.  She trusts.  She steps out in faith with her fear.

It's snowing where I live today.  As I look out the window of my office at the swirling snowflakes I'm reminded of a prophetic scripture from prophet Isaiah as he talks about the nature and faithfulness of God:

9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth, 
       so are my ways higher than your ways 
       and my thoughts than your thoughts.

    10 As the rain and the snow 
       come down from heaven, 
       and do not return to it 
       without watering the earth 
       and making it bud and flourish, 
       so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

    11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: 
       It will not return to me empty, 
       but will accomplish what I desire 
       and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Do we - do I - trust that God is faithful?; that God's Word rings true and will at the end come through?  In the midst of the troubles, pains, uncertainties and stress in my life today - and maybe in yours - do I live as I claim to trust?  I don't think it's really just a yes/no question.  I think it's more about living into what we believe.  Do we as a church community live into that trust in this time of economic crisis, unemployment, ecological uncertainty and our redefining of what nationalism means in and across the diverse nations of our world from Iran to France, from Afghanistan to America?

What does a life of faith - of living into trust - look like?  And how do we grow that in our own life?

IMAGE: [Henry Tanner "The Annunciation" 1898]

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