December 15 - Luke 1:26-38
v.37 "For nothing will be impossible with God.”
In our Confirmation classes, we often "act out" biblical stories as they are read aloud. Groups of kids will divide up the roles and pantomime the action as a way of getting inside the story. On a side-note, it is strangely entertaining to watch kids fight over who gets to play Jesus.
On one particular night, pairs of students played the roles of Mary and the angel Gabriel. Half of these early teens imagined receiving the astounding news: "Don't be afraid...you're going to have a baby!"
The Gospel of Jesus Christ begins with the story of a child who is instantly made an adult, an "adulteress," and an object of adoration.
Mary's abrupt transition into adulthood resonates with kids today who find themselves thrust suddenly into the world of adult concerns through divorce, death, abuse, or other circumstances.
Mary's pregnancy would initially be misunderstood as the sinful consequence of adultery. "Where were you, Mary?" Joseph originally planned to quietly call off the betrothal. Most of us can remember feeling misunderstood as an adolescent, and some young people have been ostracized on the basis of rumors alone.
Even so, Mary was the object of God's adoring favor. She would become the vessel for the coming Victory of God.
She would call her son Jesus, for he would save the people from their sins.
Nothing will be impossible with God. This is good news for children and adults; this is good news for the child-adults we call teenagers. No matter what happens, "Don't be afraid...God became a baby!"
God of Impossibility, you bring new life into our barrenness as your Holy Spirit overshadows us. Help us not to be afraid, but to rest in the cradle with Christ. Amen.