While the opening lines of Elizabeth’s proclamation, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb” might be more familiar to those who pray the Rosary or are generally Romish-leaning in their practices of faith, the good low church evangelical that I am has me finding deep meaning in the final words of Elizabeth:
“And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”
For many, myself somewhat reluctantly included, Mary serves as an archetype of faith because, despite all evidence to the contrary, Mary had faith enough in God to say, “yes,” when the Angel Gabriel came to announce what was fixin’ to unfold in her life.
Truth be told, my reaction to the amazing promise from God would have probably been a lot more like Zechariah’s than Mary’s. Though Mary protests for a moment, it doesn’t take much convincing before she feels in her bones that the promise of God will be fulfilled, and that though she will live a life of hardship because of it, her yes will open the very doors of heaven.
What do you supposed the world would look like if every disciple of Jesus had the same sort of faith as Mary? What would it look like if we decided to trust that God is a good? What would it be like if we decided to trust that God is the giver of every good gift, the Creator of everything that is? How would the world be different if we took seriously that God is love, to trust fully that that love compelled God to send his Son to save rather than condemn the world?
Mary serves as the archetype of faith because she trusted fully, not knowing the end results. She reminds us that the world is changed through the faith of one person, and that the Kingdom will come alongside the faith of all of us. As we approach this final Sunday in Advent, may Mary remind us all of what faith in God looks like, faith that trusts in spite of it all.