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Sunday Devotion: 20 December 2020, Fourth Sunday of Advent

Sunday Devotions

We each have a contribution to make

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Written by clergy and lay people across our Diocesan community, ‘Sunday Devotions’ is a column of short reflections based on a Lectionary reading of the day, suitable for small group discussion or personal use.

Main Readings: 2 Samuel 7.1-11, 16; Psalm 89.1-4, 19-27 or ‘Song of Mary’ (APBA P.9 or 425); Romans 16.25-27; Luke 1.26-38

Supplementary Readings: Psalm 72.12-21; Hebrews 1.8-2.4; 2 Samuel 7.18-29; Psalm 89.26-38; Mark 12.35-37

“Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’” (Luke 1.38)

Having been encouraged, quite unexpectedly, to think about leading a parish youth group in the late 60s, I somewhat hesitantly attended a leadership training course. Feeling like a fish out of water, I found myself wandering the grounds of the training venue in a sea of uncertainty contemplating, “What on earth have I gotten myself into?” At that moment I was overcome by an overwhelming sense of peace and belonging.

We can but wonder what Mary experienced as she contemplated the enormity of being asked to bear Jesus. She was faced with casting aside all the normal pathways of a young Jewish woman in her time and would have anticipated and embraced a future that was full of uncertainty. It was beyond anything anyone had ever been, or is likely to be, asked. That Mary was able to agree with, “Let it be with me according to your word”, suggests to me that she had a profound sense of the presence of God and experienced the peace that comes with that.

Each of us has a contribution to make, perhaps not as dramatic as Mary’s but significant none the less. This might be something for which we feel ill equipped or an area where few have ventured before – an area we are able or could be upskilled to handle.

If we are prepared to follow God’s call as Mary did, it ought not surprise us to find that we are able to fulfil God’s will and experience a sense of rightness in doing so, as it appears Mary did.

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