Today the word of God is taken from Luke Chapter One, verse 26 to 38. In the sixth month, the Angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth. So a Virgin engaged to a man whose name was joseph, out 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’m a virgin?” The Angel said, “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 infertile, 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.” This is the word of the Lord.
Impossible becomes New Possibilities with Jesus
Whenever I read this passage, I feel bad about Mary because how difficult it must have been for the young girl. You know, I looked into the, kind of study of how old Mary might have been when she heard this news. I found out that at most she was either 14 or 15 because they got married very early during that time, around 12 to 14 months, girls get married off. And so she must have been around 14 or 15. Teenagers. How could a teenager handle such a big, huge problem? I feel so bad about Mary even even in our time. Teenage pregnancy is a social problem and the society will not accept that or take that favorably. But in Mary’s time, it was not just a social problem. It was life or death problem. She could have been stoned to death for getting pregnant. That was the kind of culture that she was in.
So you can imagine the kind of burden and fear Mary must have felt, but surprisingly only 14 or 15 year old girl. She handled the situation very maturely and wisely. She didn’t say much. When you look at the passage, it was mostly Gabriel. The Angel who spoke most of the time, and, Mary just said two sentences. The first sentence was, “how can this be since I’m a virgin?” The second sentence was, “here am I, servant of the Lord. Let it be with me according to your word.” Those were two words, two sentences, Mary spoke. The first sentence when you look at it clearly pointed out that this is impossible. Gabriel, she was telling Gabriel, what you’re telling me is impossible. I’m a virgin. I never had a man. I never knew a man. How can I get pregnant? This is impossible. That’s what Mary was saying to Gabriel. Gabriel knew, he clearly heard what Mary was saying and Gabriel knew clearly what Mary was thinking, because Mary was saying that it is impossible. Gabriel said to her, this is what he said, “for nothing will be impossible with God. Nothing will be impossible with God. “
When Gabriel said to Mary, Mary pondered thought about it took it in, and she accepted the reality, then she said the second sentence, “here am I the servant of the Lord. Let it be with me according to your word.” I was pondering upon this passage. I think this, this was the message Luke wanted to get across, through the story of Mary, Luke has something that he wanted to say to us, and that is nothing will be impossible with God. That is a message Luke wants to get across to us. Nothing will be impossible with God. Luke was saying that Mary was the first one who accepted the truth. Nothing will be impossible with God. Luke in his life, he experienced that. He saw that nothing was impossible with God. That’s why he wanted to write the gospel Luke, because he experienced that nothing was impossible with God. He wanted to write that and then give it to us so that we can believe also nothing will be impossible with God. Luke was trying to say that Jesus, God became a human. That’s what Luke was writing about when he was writing about Jesus. He was saying God became a human being. That’s impossible.
So I mean, a teenager, who doesn’t even know a man, getting pregnant. That’s difficult reality, difficult fact. But God becoming a human being, that’s more difficult to write about. And that’s what Luke wanted to write. Mary getting pregnant and Luke writing about Jesus. These all, these are not the things that we human beings could do, these other things impossible with human beings, but Luke was saying that what he was writing about and what Mary was experiencing were mystery, were mystery. What I’m going to write about you is a mystery. I like that. I like that about life. Life is mystery, especially with God. Life is full of mystery.
New Possibility through Jesus
I like that aspect of life. The mysterious aspect of life. Life is not fixed. There’s something that you don’t know yet. There are many things that you don’t know yet. You don’t know what’s going to happen to you in the future. Life is mystery in that sense. I accept that through Jesus, Luke’s eyes were opened and he was able to see new possibility in life, new possibility it was Luke alone who experienced the new possibility, though all the disciples experienced new possibility in life through Jesus, when they met Jesus, what they encountered was new possibility. That’s what they encountered. When they encountered Jesus,
when we encountered Jesus, when we encounter God, what we encounter is new possibility. You also encounter new disciples. Also Saint Paul experienced the new possibility, that’s why he said” The Christ, the old has gone away. Behold, the new has come with God who strengthens me. I can do all things.” That’s a new possibility. Paul saw new possibility when you read Paul’s letter, all these letters, he constantly talks about revelation. The mystery that is refilled to me. He writes the mystery. He writes about a revolution.
Always search for New Possibility
They’re all experienced new possibility in life, not necessarily explainable or comprehensible, but new possibility. Seeing life with a new possibility that is Christmas spirit, merry Christmas. When you say merry Christmas, what you are saying is new possibility merry Christmas. New possibility for you. Jesus came to us and opened the new possibility. They saw the new possibility. That’s why they traveled great distances, for you traveling a great distance, Oh, that will be boring. Oh, they’re taking plane, or they will take 10 hours or more. For those people, great distance, meaning they were risking their lives on the way they could have been killed, robbed, they could get sick, so they are risking their lives, risking danger. They traveled long distance because they saw the new possibility. Herot also saw the new possibility and Herot did not like that. New possibility, that means there is a possibility that I may lose my power. I don’t like this new possibility. He saw the new possibility, but he didn’t like it, so he wanted to get rid of a real new possibility and killed all the children. The people who have power don’t like new possibility, they want to maintain the status quo, but people who have no power, they want new possibility in life.
Nothing is Impossible
We are faced also seemingly impossible situations in life. Sometimes we get so totally absorbed into impossible situations that our eyes become blind. We cannot see any possibility. All we see is impossibility. What Mary taught us, the little girl 14 or 15. What Mary taught us today is to let your life be in God’s hands. Then you will see something different. The song that you sang,
“Mary, Did you know that you will bear a son who walk on the water?” Probably Mary didn’t know what was going on, but when she let her life be in God’s hands, she saw new possibility and that new possibility became reality in Jesus. Amazing. She taught us. Little girl taught us. Let your life be, let it be in God’s hands. As we wait for the Christmas, let us embrace the new possibility in our life and also let us embrace new possibility in the world we live in. We pray for Korea. Any possibility there, but even in the midst of impossibilities let us embrace the new possibility, and I know this new possibility is not something that I can create. This new possibility is what God can give. It’s not something that I can make up for all of you. The new possibilities is now what you can make new possibility is given to you by God. Embrace it. Have faith in this total nonsense of Gabriel’s message. Mary saw the new possibility in this ridiculous situation. Mary held onto the new possibility, so Mary said, “here am I the servant of the Lord. Let it be with me according to your word.” Last week we reflected on patience. Patience is not something you try, patience is possible because you see the new possibility in the seemingly impossible situation. Only when you can do that, patience comes
your patient because you see new possibility. My friends, what is impossible is in our eyes, in God’s eyes, nothing is impossible. Only in your eyes you see impossibility, but in God’s eyes, there is always possibility. Are there people in this room who are experiencing the impossibility of life right now? Are there people in this room who are surrounded by the dark cloud of doubt about life right now? Are there people in this room who are completely knocked down, because of whatever situation you may be in, do not be afraid. Maybe it is a way of God opening up the new possibility for you. Maybe it is God’s message for you that it is time for you to open up to the new possibility. Mary said, here, am I the servant of the Lord? Let it be with be with me according to your word. That is so refreshing. Life is not all about grasping with our hands. Immigrant life was difficult. It was difficult for me too, university time and everything. Just so difficult. Work harder and harder, but sometimes because you work so hard, you forget the new possibilities is what God gives you, not what you make. Life is not just about grasping with your hands. Life is sometimes letting it be. Let go. Letting it be and see how it unravels before your eyes. There is a song sung by The Beatles called “Let it be”, famous song. Do you know?
Let it be this song sung by The Beatles and written by Paul Mccartney. In 1970 he wrote this song and just before The Beatles were broken up. Paul Mccartney went through a lot of trouble in a difficult time and when he had a difficult time, one day he had a dream and his mother who died of cancer, came up in a dream and then the mother told Paul, “it will be alright, let it be” that’s where he got inspiration and he wrote it. But what he wrote is exactly from the Annunciation of Mary. The passage that we read today. He said, I’m not going to sing, but I’ll read it “when I find myself in times of trouble. Mother Mary comes to me speaking words of wisdom. Let it be.” That’s what Mary said. “Let it be with me according to your word.” Yes, sometimes maybe we find ourselves in times of trouble. There’s a few verses later, he said, “and when the night is cloudy, there is still a light that shines on me. Shine until tomorrow. Let it be”. Beautiful, isn’t it?
If Mary did not have the wisdom of letting it be, she might’ve gone crazy, she would’ve never been able to embrace the reality that was imposed upon her. Maybe the best gift for this Christmas may not be iPad or Roomba. Whatever. Maybe the best gift, Christmas gift for you this year, maybe to have the eyes to see the new possibility, having the eyes to see the new possibility, that may be the greatest gift that we can have. No matter what situation you may be in, you should always live with new possibility. My friends don’t ever forget. Doesn’t matter what situation you may be always live with new possibility. That is what Christmas is all about, it’s what Christmas teaches us. Open your eyes to the new possibility.