Be still to listen.

Be brave to hear.

Be centered to behold a love too immense for our understanding.

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The angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Mary. God is honoring you. Look! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and he will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of David his father. He will rule over Jacob’s house forever, and there will be no end to his kingdom.”

Then Mary said to the angel, “How will this happen since I haven’t had sexual relations with a man?”

The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come over you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the one who is to be born will be holy. He will be called God’s Son.”

Luke 1:30-35

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For Mary so loved the world, she gave her one and only Son of God to cleanse the sins of the world. This seems to be what the angel is calling her to do. And Mary has some questions.

The angel responds to Mary’s confusion with “Don’t be afraid.” It was natural for Mary to be afraid; there was a holy being in front of her! She doubted how it was possible that she would bear a child. But Mary was not afraid to serve God.

As nerve-wracking as it might seem, when following God, we should not be afraid. At the same time, Mary shows us that it is okay to ask questions of God’s blessings and commands. It’s okay to seek guidance and clarification. Mary, in her questioning, was not saying “no” to the angel, but was asking for guidance.

We can ask for help out of love of God’s blessings on us. We ask for guidance out of love, not out of doubt.

Ariana Gonzalez-Bonillas

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God, grant me guidance on my path to grow closer to your image of heaven on earth. Thank you for allowing me to question your vision to find clarity in my heart and mind. Help me to be centered to listen to your guidance. Amen.

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What is the love of God calling you to do?

What is the love for God’s creation calling you to do?

What would you do for the love of the body of God?

Go, to love.

Ariana Gonzalez-Bonillas

Ariana Gonzalez-Bonillas is a senior at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, majoring in sociology. She is the First Lay Deputy from the Diocese of Arizona to the 79th Episcopal General Convention. This will be her second time as deputy. Her writing has also been featured as a columnist for The Episcopal Journal.

Unto Us: O Holy Night


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