In her terror and fear at this unexpected birth announcement, Mary can at
least muster a question, “How can this be?” In the angel’s message, Mary
has heard two “words” of promise: “of his kingdom there will be no end,” and
“nothing is impossible with God.” Once again something important to Luke is
hidden in the usual translation. In the original Greek, “nothing” is literally “no
word.” That is to say, “with God no word (i.e., no promise) is ever impossible.”
The new possibilities of God’s promise are already breaking in for Mary. In the
very next breath Mary responds by assuming her new role as faithful “servant”:
“Let it happen to me in accordance with your word!”
We stand poised near the end of our Advent journey ready to celebrate
the wondrous birth of Jesus “in accordance with God’s grace-filled word of
promise.” May that word once again inspire us to respond like Mary as faithful
servants of the good news.
God of mercy and grace, inspire us with the good news of your promise made real for
us in the birth of Jesus your Son, enable us to respond as faithful servants of the ever
new possibilities of your kingdom. Amen.