Have any of you ever been asked to do something, or go somewhere, but you really REALLY didn’t want to? (Take answers)
Clean your room, do the washing up, go to visit someone you didn’t like, have to go see family rather than play out with your friends, do your tax return, fill out paperwork, had to give up meeting friends to do work?
What do you do? What do you do when you really don’t want to do something? (Take answers)
You start making excuses
I’m too busy, I can’t, I don’t know how to, but they’re much cleverer, faster, better than me, they should do it!
We all do this from time to time, especially with the small stuff in life.
But, sometimes we’re asked to do something huge! Has anyone been asked to do anything huge and important? (Take answers)
Well, I have someone with me who was asked to do something very, VERY important. Can anyone remember our gospel reading, or guess at who I might have here who was asked to do something VERY important?
Mary was given a very important task, what was Mary asked to do?
Be the Mother of Jesus.
This was HUGE. And would have been very difficult for her and others to understand and accept.
She wasn’t married.
She lived in the wrong side of town.
She was poor.
And she could have come up with LOADS of excuses for NOT being the Mother to Jesus.
I can’t, I’m planning my wedding.
I can’t, what would people think of me?
I can’t, what do I tell my parents?
I can’t, what do I tell Joseph? He’ll think I’ve been seeing someone else.
I can’t, I’m too poor to look after a baby.
I can’t, I’m too young to be a mother.
I can’t, I’m not important enough for God to be bothered with me!
But did she say any of these? (Take answers)
No. After she had spoken to the angel, she is so excited she goes to visit her cousin Elizabeth, who is also expecting a baby. And she said something amazing. She said something so wonderful, that we repeat it every day in the cathedral. And in every cathedral, and in every church it is sung, and said and prayed.
And its known as the ‘Magnificat’ which is the first word of Mary’s praise in Latin.
It’s become for us, a song of joy, and has been set to music more times than I can count.
Because this girl who must have thought that she couldn’t, God did not say ‘she is just a girl’. God took Mary seriously, trusted her and put her to work. And when she believed she could do God’s work, it was the most joyful thing she had ever known. And so she said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my saviour’ and she talks about what God has and will do for his people.
“I praise the Lord with all my heart.
I am very happy because God is my Savior.
I am not important,
but he has shown his care for me, his lowly servant.
From now until the end of time,
people will remember how much God blessed me.
Yes, the Powerful One has done great things for me.
His name is very holy.
He always gives mercy
to those who worship him.
He reached out his arm and showed his power.
He scattered those who are proud and think great things about themselves.
He brought down rulers from their thrones
and raised up the humble people.
He filled the hungry with good things,
but he sent the rich away with nothing.
God has helped Israel—the people he chose to serve him.
He did not forget his promise to give us his mercy.
He has done what he promised to our ancestors,
to Abraham and his children forever.”
Mary shows us what is possible when we say Yes. When we say Yes to God, wonderful things can happen. Even world changing things. And he doesn’t just use the clever or the important. He can use all of us.
So next time you’re asked to do something, think, am I going to make an excuse, or should I joyfully say yes, because there is the potential in all things for God to do his wonderful work.