Let us imagine a scene. If someone who you have not met before, comes into your house, and stands before you, saying, “Rejoice, favored and beloved one! The Lord is with you.” Then, how do you respond to him? … “What? Who are you? What are you doing here?”
And then, if he says to you, “Do not be afraid. I have come to you for letting you know that you have found favor with God. You don’t need to be afraid. Now you will be given a great gift that you have never dreamed about. Today, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son.” Then, how do you respond to him? … “What? What did you say?”
And, if he keeps saying, “Wait, it’s not finished. You don’t need to worry about the name for the baby. Jesus. You will name him Jesus. The child will be great, and become the King of kings. Don’t be panic.” Then, how do you respond to him, to his saying?
Finally, Mary askes him, “It’s not possible. How can this be, I am a virgine, I am not married. In addition, I don’t know the man. Then, … how?” She asks him for the explanation. “How can this be?” In her, and through her, the angel says, God is about to do something new. Something impossible is about to happen to her. Something new that she has not experienced before is about to happen to her. It is the thing that happened in the beginning when God created the heaven and the earth, that is about to happen again here and now. But, it will be different and new. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God (John 1:1). But, here and now, with the Word, with God, there is a young woman named Mary. In her, something new is about to happen. Through her, something new is about to happen today. She will have a son, and his son will be great, be called the Son of the Most Hight, and become King of kings.”
However, “how? How can this be?” Mary knows. And we know, that it is impossible, because she is a virgin, and cannot have a baby. But the angel keeps saying, “Yes, she will.” “In her, and through her. God wil do something new.” Yes, we know, “She may have a baby. But not yet. Not now. It is not the time for her to have a baby. And she is not ready. She knows, and we know that. It is impossible.” Then, Mary asks, and we ask, “How?” There is no room in the story for a sentimental or romantic mood or for musing. He has not come to give her a Tiffany ring as a Christmas gift. He has not come to prepare a surprise party for Christmas. He is the angel of God, he is God’s messenger to deliver his message to her.
“How, then, can this be?” Then, the angel answers to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child, the hope of God, will be born to you. He will be holy. He will be called Son of God.” “And you might need a sign See, your relative Elizabeth. In her old age, she has conceived a son.” “Nothing wil be impossible with God. There is nothing that God cannot do.” The impossible in her sight now turns to the possible with God. As God has done to her relative Elizabeth, now God is about to make the impossible possible in Mary. God is about to do something new, through a human agent. Now, the angel is waiting for her response to God’s message.
“Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Without hesitation, Mary embraces what the angel has said to her. The Gospel of Matthew is saying, “but before they lived together, she was found to be with child form the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly (Matthew 1:18-19).” However, Mary embraces God’s purpose without regard to its cost to her. The Gospel of today is not a beginning of a happily ever-after story. It is not about just a young woman who will give birth to a mysterious child, and raise him to be a king and live with her child happily ever after. It is about a young woman, who calls herself a servant of the Lord, and submits herself to her Master. “I am your servant. Let it be with me according to your word.” Mary is the servant of the Lord, the servant of the Word, filled with the Spirit. She submits herself to what the God’s angel has said to her. She embraces the Word not just symbolically. She takes God’s Word, and eats it, and live it. The God’s Word is sweet as honey in her mouth, but after she eats it, it will turn to bitter (Revelation 10:9-10). We will see the life of the child. We will see his ministries. We will see his suffering, and death on the cross. And we will see her bitterness under the cross. We will see her in pain and agony. However, we will see her child’s tomb empty, and will see the risen child to be taken up to heaven. And we will see his Spirit to come upon his people and us from heaven, and to fill and overshadow his people and us as the Spirit has done to Mary, the mother of the child.
Today, we are waiting for the coming of Christ Jesus, who, “was in the form of God, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form.” Today, we are waiting for the coming of Christ Jesus, who “humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Today, we are waiting for the coming of Christ Jesus, whom, “God highly exalted and gave the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.” (Philippians 2:6-11) Today, we are waiting for the coming of Christ Jesus, the Lord, who chose to build his temple, his dwelling place in us, and among us. Christ Jesus whom we are waiting for is the humble King, the humble Servant, and the Suffering Servant, to love and serve his people. Today, the humble Servant is about to come to us as a baby, through Mary, the humble servant of the Lord.
We, human beings created by God, are given the capacity to make something possible. Yes, we know through our history that human beings have capacity to destroy the world, our society, and humanity, and to drive them into chaos, into pain. However, We know, we human beings are bestowed the capacity to change and transform the world and our society according to God’s purpose and God’s will. But, how? These days, it seems not possible. “How, then. How can this be?” “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Through Mary, saying ‘Yes’ to God’s Word and calling, the holy Child, the hope of God, has come to us. Through Mary, the humble and faithful servant of God, the impossible has turned to the possible. The angel of God, comes to Mary, and comes to each of us today, saying, “Rejoice, favored one! The Lord is with you. The Holy Child will come to you today. God’s Spirit will empower and overshadow you, so that you co-participate in God’s recreating and transforming works. Nothing will be impossible with God. Do not be afraid. The Holy Spirit will come upon you. You will be a vessel of the will of God, and be a vehicle of the purpose of God.”
Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me, with us, according to your word.
Come, Lord Jesus! Come! Amen.