26 When Elizabeth was six months pregnant, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a city in Galilee, 27 to a virgin who was engaged to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David’s house. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 When the angel came to her, he said, “Rejoice, favored one! The Lord is with you!” 29 She was confused by these words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 The angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Mary. God is honoring you. 31 Look! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great and he will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of David his father. 33 He will rule over Jacob’s house forever, and there will be no end to his kingdom.”
34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How will this happen since I haven’t had sexual relations with a man?”
35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come over you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the one who is to be born will be holy. He will be called God’s Son. 36 Look, even in her old age, your relative Elizabeth has conceived a son. This woman who was labeled ‘unable to conceive’ is now six months pregnant. 37 Nothing is impossible for God.”
38 Then Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant. Let it be with me just as you have said.” Then the angel left her.
Note: If you normally read the reflection in the app, today you may want to click on the “website” icon, to access some of the links referenced below.
Paul McCartney says he wrote the song “Let It Be” after being visited by his mother in a dream. Before I saw this interview, I had always assumed that the reference was to Mary the mother of Jesus. But “Mother Mary” actually refers to his own Mom (her name also happened to be Mary).
Even knowing the real story, when you reflect on the lyrics in light of this scripture, it’s still hard not to make the connection back to Jesus’ mother.
She too adopts the attitude “let it be,” and embraces God’s mission for her – at great risk to her relationships with her family and fiance, and even to her physical safety. Childbirth, after all, is no small matter, then or now. Then add to it the danger the likelihood of being accused as an adulteress, potentially a capital offense in a society where men make the rules.
Sometimes, it takes a lot of courage to say, “let it be.” They’re three small words that can have a tremendous impact in our lives, and on our world. In Mary’s case, her willingness to speak them literally changed everything. For everyone. Forever.
This Advent, have the faith to embrace them. Don’t be afraid to let it be!
For Pondering & Prayer
Sometimes music helps us pray when we don’t know the words. Why not take four minutes to listen to the song here?
Is there someone whom you see struggling who needs this word of encouragement today? Will you share it with them?