17 December 2014
2014 Christmas message from Steve Clifford
Some days my life just seems so complex. I feel that I'm surrounded by technology designed to make my life easier and quicker, yet so often I end up feeling that life is happening at such a pace that I'm sprinting just to keep in touch.
I've been reflecting on perhaps the most amazing, life-changing and even world-changing conversation ever to have taken place, when the angel Gabriel, who was sent by God to a town in Galilee, encounters Mary, engaged to Joseph the local carpenter.
The angel's message is clear and shocking: Mary is going to give birth to a son, who is to be called Jesus. I'm sure we know the story well. Mary asked the obvious question: "How can this be?" The angel makes clear that the conception will not be by the normal process; it is a work of the Holy Spirit, not of Joseph. Mary can't possibly understand the theological implications of what she's just heard, and biblical scholars have spent 2,000 years reflecting on the incarnation. But her response is wonderfully challenging and speaks to me today in the complexity of my life. Mary speaks to the angel with these words: "I am your servant. May it be to me as you have said."
As we approach the end of 2014 and look forward to 2015, let the words of Mary be our prayer; called to be His servant and available for whatever He would ask of us.