Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The Message of Hope

Rev Denny Philip

Carmel MTC, Boston, MA
37 For nothing will be impossible with God.”  

“Breaking news”, that is what we always look for when we turn on the news channel. But often the news we hear as breaking are heart breaking, putting us in despair. May it be the killing in Paris or the refugee issues of Syria or the abuse and accidents, all put us in a desperate mood, making us to lose all hope.    It’s in this scenario that we meditate upon the annunciation to Mary, where Gabriel becomes a messenger of Grace and Hope. We shall focus on the following themes in this passage.

1. Grace as the source of Hope: The salutation ‘Greetings, favored one’ implies that God has found favor with Mary. It is not her family status, education or any distinguished qualities that made Mary worthy of the favor. But it is the grace. God has chosen her out of grace. She is able to appropriate the message and surrender to the will of God once it was announced. It is that whole-hearted surrender that made Mary part of the salvation project of God. But that favor also put her in danger. There was a threat to her personal dreams. But she is able to widen her dream which is reflected in her song.

2.Possibility amidst impossibilities. The message of hope sometimes seems illogical and impossible in human calculations and criteria. But Gabriel stresses the fact that nothing is impossible for God. When Mary was able to comprehend that, she surrenders to it. It made her life above all human calculations. The willingness to go beyond the human limitations instills hope in us.

3. Human response to divine initiative. Hope becomes a reality when we appropriate and respond to the divine initiative. Divine plans are never a solo affair. They always invite human participation. It is by the words “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word” that Mary becomes the first Christian (Christian in the sense the bearer of Christ). When we join Mary in responding with similar words we are also co-opted to the salvific act of God. May the Holy Spirit equip us to experience Grace, have faith that drive us beyond impossibilities and respond, “Here am I, your servant”


“Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Amen.
“He who has not Christmas in his heart , will never find it under a tree.”  Roy L. Smith