Advent Meditations: Week 4 – “Let It Be”

(Light three blue candles and one pink candle. Read the verses below.)


Luke 1:26-38, from the CEB

When Elizabeth was six months pregnant, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a city in Galilee, 27 to a virgin who was engaged to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David’s house. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 When the angel came to her, he said, “Rejoice, favored one! The Lord is with you!” 29 She was confused by these words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 The angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Mary. God is honoring you. 31 Look! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 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. 33 He will rule over Jacob’s house forever, and there will be no end to his kingdom.”

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

35 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. 36 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. 37 Nothing is impossible for God.”

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

Commentary by Rev. Barbara Wiechel

Although the Mother Mary in Paul McCartney’s song is not Mary the mother of Jesus, his words in “Let it Be” could be addressed to the woman who became Theotokos, God-bearer. Written out of his own need, McCartney says, “And when the broken-hearted people living in the world agree, there will be an answer, let it be.” In a few short verses, in a brief conversation with God’s messenger angel, Mary moves from confusion to consideration, to acceptance of her role in God’s plan of redemption. As God’s partner, she agrees to give birth to Holy Wisdom, clothed in human flesh. After the child’s birth, Mary ponders what all this means, knowing from the prophecy of Simeon that “a sword will pierce [her] innermost being, too.” “Let it be” could be a phrase used to mean “leave well enough alone,” a refusal to participate. Instead, Mary’s words are a holy amen, “Let it be with me just as you have said.” When God’s messenger comes to us, and asks us to become God-bearers, will we choose to leave well enough alone, or will we be bold enough to echo Mary’s holy amen, “Let it be with me just as you have said”?

Personal Reflection

In what ways are we called to be God-bearers, to share the good news with our very being? What will be birthed in us if we agree to be God’s partners in redeeming creation? How will we make room within ourselves for all that God intends to birth in us?


Let us pray.

O God,

     give us the courage and the wisdom of Mary,

          that we may move from confusion to consideration to acceptance of your invitation to partner with you in redeeming the world.

Fill our being with your presence,

     and send us to the broken-hearted people in our world,

that they may know the answer: Let it be. Amen.

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