Short Meds in Getting Ready in Covid-Advent: 19. Concern
Lk 1:34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
If the Covid year has taught us anything it is that different people suffer different forms of worry. We worry about catching the virus, we worry about conforming to government guidelines, we worry about how we will cope with lockdown, we worry how long it will go on, we worry about the efficacy of new vaccines, and so on.
When it comes to the scriptures the same is true. Zechariah feared being out of control, Mary feared the absence of the mechanics to make God’s will work. The disciples challenged by Jesus to feed large crowds, face it as well: “Where could we get enough bread,” (Mt 15:33)
Zechariah, Mary, and the disciples, had to learn that God can work outside of physical or material limitations and this goes to the heart of the biblical revelation. Sceptics, would-be believers, and believers are all prone to the same worries about faith. Can we believe that the Bible is inspired by God? Can we believe in the accuracy of the writings? Can we believe the things happened as recorded? Can we believe it wasn’t all one big scam? These are all legitimate questions to be dealt with (and I believe they can ALL be answered satisfactorily), but they are the sort of worries that arise when we think about God, Jesus, and faith and all we read in the Bible.
So Mary has a legitimate concern. It’s not, as we suggested with Zechariah back in study numbers 11 & 12, “How can I trust you? How can I be sure you’re telling me the truth?” but more how can we bring this about. She has good cause to ask this because she is clearly a righteous young woman who is waiting to get married and, unlike the bizarre antics of uncontrolled people today (young and older) she is going to wait until she is actually married before entering into a full sexual relationship with her husband. That is what the righteous do. So, this being said, she wonders how she can bring this about. She hasn’t reached the point, understandably, that it’s going to have to be a God-thing. So, do we let those limitations of material thinking hinder our expectancy, our faith, and our praying? At this time of the year especially, the material work presses in and faith is difficult. The practicalities of activities over Christmas often turn our eyes away from the Lord. Can we remind ourselves that believers, children of God, we now live with an unlimited possibility as we allow God to lead us? Don’t let the materialism of this time of the year swamp our faith.