This week I chose to skip ahead in the lectionary and preach on a passage that keeps calling to me during this season of my life. I am led to the Magnificat of Mary (Luke 1:47-55). One of the things that holds my interest is the fact that Mary’s life was in total chaos and she still praised God. I respect and admire that about this incredible child/woman. It would have been easy for her to simply curse God and turn away from the incredible journey that she would travel. Instead, she honored God in the middle of the worst circumstances.
I admire people like Mary who teach me how to live out my faith. For people like her, faith is not simply a set of rules and regulations, but something incredibly intricate within her being. She turned to her God to give her strength to get through the most difficult of circumstances. Her faith indeed could move mountains and then some.
I want that type of faith. I want my first reaction to a situation to be directed towards God. I have been struggling this week concerning the death of my mother. I understand that grief is necessary, but I also understand it is not fun. One of the issues with which I have struggled has been the frequent phone calls I had with my mom. We were close and I would call her to celebrate when things were good and to commiserate when things were bad. I always knew that whatever support I needed, I would get from my mom. With her passing that support is no longer there. The silence is sometimes deafening.
Her death reminds me, along with the passage from Luke’s Gospel, of the kind of relationship I want to have with my God. I want God to be first in my joys and my sorrows. I want my life to be a living prayer connected to my Creator. If there is a lesson in the death of a loved one, it is the reminder that when all is said and done, the most important legacy which will last are the times that we offered kindness and love to one another. Mary did this as she praised God.
It is my hope that we love each other in spite of our human condition. May we offer words of strength and hope in times of darkness. May we follow the example of Mary and love with our whole hearts the one who first loved us. May we be a blessing to our world.