by Revd Mike Turnbull
I hope you are all keeping well in these most difficult and challenging of times. I don’t think many of appreciated how difficult it would be coming out of lockdown when we went into it, certainly I didn’t.
For many people, the past few months have changed their lives completely and irreversibly. Many have lost loved ones to, or through the knock-on effect of the pandemic. All of us have suffered and have had to make sacrifices on various levels. For some, the challenges of finance and redundancy are just beginning to become a reality. As it’s been said, there are no winners in this.
To some extent coping with and adapting to change is something we as humans do very well mostly. As we look back through history humans have adapted to many situations and I guess that’s no different to the current situation we find ourselves in this year.
On the 15 August, the church celebrates the Blessed Virgin Mary. As we think about changing and adapting, this was something that Mary had to do as she was faced with a life-changing message from an angel, just a normal day, you’re about have God’s son! When we consider that, according to scholars, Mary was only around 13 years old when the angel visited her with the message it is even more remarkable.
Mary is often, and quite rightly, praised for her obedience and willingness to say, ‘I am the Lord’s servant, may your word to me be fulfilled.’ (Luke 1:38 NIVUK). However, there is another quality that she shows when she gives her answer and that is bravery. This is a young girl, a virgin, engaged to be married and she was now going to have to deal with everything that this angel’s message would bring upon her. Her bravery to accept the call of God in extreme circumstances can be a lesson to us today. We may not be called upon to do what Mary was asked to do, but we should be ready and willing to answer God’s call upon our lives and to be brave in whatever that may be.
So, on the 15 August, maybe pause and give thanks for the Blessed Virgin Mary, her example, obedience and her bravery.