by Bishop Bill Gohl

Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her. – Luke 1:26-38

Icon of the Annunciation by Laura Fisher Smith

Had I been Mary, I would have run away — either literally or emotionally — but she stands fast, “Here am I.” Simple, yet profound, holding the course when things get rough, standing with God even in the face of great fear and uncertainty.

We are not our own, we are God’s. And in Mary’s answer to God’s call, both heaven and earth were changed.

So, what are you going to do when your angel comes? God’s call to us is usually more subtle than the bodily presence of the Seraphim cherubim, indeed it is more likely that God will call us through the angels of everyday life.

Who’s your angel? Is it “those people” in the community that your congregation serves who remind you of your need to serve, of how more blessed it is to give than to receive?

Who’s your angel? Is it the friend who lovingly calls you out and accompanies you toward healing and recovery?

Who’s your angel? Is it the nameless, faceless one who begs your attention and your contribution at the corners of the highways and byways beseeching us to care, to not let this happen to others?

Who’s your angel?

What message do they carry from God?

How will you respond, in the face of shame or embarrassment, fear or uncertainty?

If we are open to God’s call and reflect the faithfulness shown by Mary, the angels will and do come – whether we like what we hear or not.

May we find the courage to answer from deep within, “Here am I; let it be with me according to your word;” knowing that heaven, earth – and we – will be changed.

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her. – Luke 1:26-38