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Daily Text from Asbury Seedbed


December 21, 2018

Luke 1:34-38

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[b] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.


The name Mary can mean rebellion.

That’s not an idea we normally associate with the Virgin Mary. We think of her as a stained glass saint, one dimensional icon of holiness, prized role in the annual children’s program.

Truth be told, we don’t often think of her at all until it’s time to unpack the nativity set again. Our tradition protested against the abuses of the papal institution and sought to re-form the Church in the image of its radical beginnings. So we tend to shy away from focusing on Mary at all out of fear of past misconceptions. But this is to our own great loss. Through this humble woman from a backwoods village, far out of the sphere of power, the Almighty draws near to us. As the baby kicks in her womb, empires tremble and a rebellion—yes, rebellion— is set in motion.

In today’s passage, Mary is greeted by the impossibly good news that she will conceive the long awaited hope of Israel. Even though she can’t understand how this will happen through a virgin, she defies her doubt and responds with trust.

Mary’s response in Nazareth stands in direct contrast to Eve’s response in the Garden. Faced with that first temptation, Eve’s response of doubt leads to insurrection. Mary’s response of trust leads to surrender. Eve is tempted to see herself as the Lord’s equal. Mary responds, “I am the Lord’s servant.” Eve is tempted to doubt the words of God. Mary responds, “May it be to me as you have said.”

...Continued on Asbury Seedbed... (click on the link below).