Be still to listen.

Be brave to hear.

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

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“Look, even in her old age, your relative Elizabeth has conceived a son. This woman who was labeled ‘unable to conceive’ is now six months pregnant. Nothing is impossible for God.”

Then Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant. Let it be with me just as you have said.” Then the angel left her.

Luke 1:36-38

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Many have said that Mother Mary's virtue is her obedience. I do not see Mary’s acceptance of God’s blessing as obedience, but as bravery. I see her as one of the bravest women in the Bible – she knew she would be condemned in society. Especially as a woman who was pregnant before marriage, she could have been stoned to death. But Mary was brave and trusted in God’s blessing. Obedience would be to follow without question, but Mary asked her questions. She shows trust and bravery to follow God in faith.

Our faith also calls for trust and bravery. We are brave to believe in God. And we are brave to believe in the person that God sees us as: favored. For God so loved the world, God called us favored. And we may also trust that we don’t have to live up to that blessed image in order for God to love us.

Ariana Gonzalez-Bonillas

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God, I pray that you may help me find my best version of myself for your kingdom. I pray that I may one day understand why I am favored in your eyes, and for peace within me if that day does not come. Grant me the bravery to trust in your vision of us. 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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