And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
- Luke 1:38
Mary said yes. She became a space for God to dwell. She opened her hands to receive. She unlocked the door and let grace in. After all, her work couldn’t create God’s Son in her womb and her effort wouldn’t bring the promised one into her world. For God to be conceived, she would have to rest. She would have to be overshadowed and taken hold of. Her life would have to be according to another’s word. She would have to say yes. So she did. Yes…Let it be…I am the Lord’s.
As those words fell from Mary’s lips, she entered a deeply personal relationship with her God. She was seized by the one who lives and loves in perfect relationship as Trinity and she was given the greatest gift of Christmas – a friendship with her Creator.
The message of Christmas is that God wants to give this same gift to us. This means that he wants to be with us. He wants to take hold of our lives. He wants to provide and protect – comfort and carry.
God with us. God for us. God befriending us. What a remarkable gift. A God who wants to give us what we silently long for. A deep friendship. Creation and Creator moving in harmony and in intimacy together again.
Mary’s yes shows us how the gift of Christmas is conceived. Her yes was not to producing, performing, or working. Instead, her yes was to resting and receiving. It was yes to being a space for God to dwell. In short, her yes was to letting herself be loved.
This can be hard for us. After all, we want to produce. We want to perform. We want to be enough. So we are scared at the thought of being in need. We are horrified at the news that we are the servant not the master because we want to have something to offer. But friendship with God is better because we say yes to being loved instead of yes to earning love.
This Christmas many of us are at a crossroads. For so many years we’ve given ourselves to earning God’s love. So we’ve tried to be good enough. We’ve tried to be pleasing. We’ve tried to enter a friendship with God by producing and performing. And now we are tired. Our lives our filled with anxious striving. And we are in danger of missing the greatest gift God has given.
So take the other road. Like Mary say yes. Become a space for God to dwell. Receive the gift God is offering. Say yes and let yourself be loved.