When the angel Gabriel told Mary that she would bear the Son of God, “For nothing will be impossible with God,” Mary answered, “Here I am, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”
What an amazingly powerful response to God’s hope for the world. With Mary’s response, Christ was born and the world came to know God’s love in new form.
Mary knew that living according to God’s word meant carrying the hope that the proud would be scattered “in the thoughts of their hearts,” the powerful would be “brought down from their thrones,” and the lowly “lifted up,” the hungry “filled with good things,” and the rich “sent away.”
In this year’s CBC Massey Lectures on Winter: Five Windows on the Season, Adam Gopnik also speaks about the transformational meaning of Christmas as known in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. As Gopnik says, “Dickens thinks that what Christmas offers us, properly understood, is a kind of tiny revolutionary moment in the year when everything can be remade, not just our hopes but our hearts too.”
So may we open ourselves to this revolutionary moment in the year when everything can be remade, not just our hopes but our hearts too, in order that wealth may be more equally shared and ecological destruction reversed.
Christmas reminds us that we are people who carry God’s hope for the world. We have learned that nothing is impossible when we are ready to answer with Mary, “Here we are, servants of the Lord. Let it be with us according to your word.”