December 21, 2020
Rev Angela Hardy Cross
Mountain View District
Luke 1:46b- 55
Can you imagine being a young woman, about 14 years of age, pregnant, unmarried, and afraid while wondering, “how did this happen to me?” I believe we can identify with Mary; or, let me say it this way: I know I can. I’ve been in a difficult place, in conflict with the norms, feeling alone, and frightened.
1 Sam 1: 1-18
Mary Made A Choice
Mary might have said, “my fiancé hates me.” Mary could have said, “my parents may disown me.” Mary might have thought, “my culture and society may crush me with stones.” Instead, Mary made a choice not to wallow in wondering thoughts of, “woe is me.” She was void of complete understanding; yet, knowing the spirit had touched her and an angel had visited her,
Mary chose celebration over panic, praise over shame and blame, joy and hope over despair.
Maybe Mary had heard the story of Hannah, who had been ostracized and criticized by a mean sister named Peninnah. Hannah chose prayer over retaliation. Hannah chose faith over shrewd cunning. Hannah prayed until she looked like a drunken woman and was labeled as such. Mary knew the end of Hannah’s story: a precious birth. God always brings life out of pain, crisis, and misfortune.
Therefore, as we linger in the midst of a hateful pandemic, there is yet HOPE. As we feel the sting of racism and cultural upheaval, there is yet the possibility of Peace. As we walk through the midnight darkness of divisiveness, there is yet the possibility of the Light of Christ. As men, women, boys, and girls abandon true care and affection for one another, there is still the possibility of divine love and fellowship.
Mary made a choice. Hannah made a choice.
You and I can make a choice this Christmas: a choice to allow the birth of Christ to end the pain and bring healing. No! It’s not magic. No! It’s not easy. It takes work. It takes commitment. It takes inclusion. It takes intentional. It takes sincere effort on our part. Yet, even when we fail, we can choose to keep moving forward and celebrate Emmanuel, God coming to be with us, as we go to be with others.
Let us make a choice. Let us choose change this Christmas.