Monday, December 12, 2011

Jesus In Us

I cannot imagine how it must have felt for Mary to have been impregnated by God. Did she experience the wonder of knowing that within her womb, the promised Messiah was growing daily? Did that sustain her against the criticism of others, the shame of family, the potential loss of her betrothed?

Why did God choose this way of bringing himself into the world? A single young woman engaged to be married. Her reputation stained, even her life at risk because of this pregnancy, certain evidence, it would seem, of promiscuity and adultery.

Maybe this is why Jesus was compassionate to the woman caught in adultery. What had his own mother told him of her experience being pregnant with him? Of the rejection she endured? Of living with a ruined reputation?

And what does this say to me about how I should live? Can I be so certain of the evidence I see as to judge another without knowing how God is at work in that person—how Jesus is growing in them? Is Jesus in me so that I can see Jesus in another—even when that person has been labeled and judged by well-meaning “church folks” as someone unfit to be accepted?

What strength Mary had to be able to praise God as she did, even knowing that what God was doing in and through her would bring scorn and rejection from family and community! Can I see beyond the black and white to the Light of the world? Can I love others and give them grace, knowing that Jesus is growing within them, even if they do not acknowledge it themselves? Will I let Jesus live in me, even if it brings me criticism and rejection?

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