Monday, 12 December 2016

Advent 30 Day Retreat: Week Three: Day 15

Read the Word of God with a prayerful heart.
By Louise Crossley

I’m not sure if Buddy Greene and Mark Lowry’s: ‘Mary did you know?’ is a Christmas Carol, but I am sure it contains powerful words which reflect Advent, and also challenges recent media thinking.

 Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you've delivered, will soon deliver you
Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?...
 Copyright © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group

This beautiful song can remind us of the positivity of Advent. Even non-believers see that people are nicer to each other during this period. Perhaps it is a gentle reminder by God that at this auspicious time, goodness reveals itself. But, we need to recognise goodness even when it is not framed with tinsel and good cheer.

 If Mary is being asked: ‘Did you know…’ (and she clearly knows), we certainly should be asking ourselves the same thing every time we speak to one another.

Sometimes we meet people when we are tired, disheartened or hurt, and it is easy to forget that we might be meeting someone who achieves the unachievable ‘walks on water’; has come to teach us something valuable ‘gives sight to a blind man’; refreshes our faith in society ‘make you new’.
Even though we are all mere humans and cannot be compared with the divinity of Jesus or the purity of Mary, asking ourselves ‘Did you know?’ may inspire us to be more generous with our time and kinder with our words.

‘Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares Hebrews 13:2

By asking ourselves what Mary is being asked here, every time we interact with people, we may help to extinguish popular media language like ‘xenophobia’ and ‘otherness’.

I can hear the angelic voice of God responding now… ‘This …(kindness) that you’ve delivered, will soon deliver  you’.