We are in the second week of our new worship series called Casting Christmas Sunday, December 4. Each week we will focus on a different character from the Christmas story. We’ll learn more about the characters and wonder what their stories might have to teach us. This week we examine how a lead actor plays the role of the protagonist in a play. In our story this week, Mary is the lead actor.
Commentators wrestle especially with the question of Mary’s acceptance, or is it surrender? And what is she accepting, an invitation, a request, or simply information about what’s going to happen to her, and is it a good thing that’s about to happen? In her sermon on the text, “Mothers of God,” Barbara Brown Taylor observes, “The angel did not ask her how that sounded to her and whether she would like to try out for the role; he told her” (Gospel Medicine).
Many of us are acquainted with roles. I am a woman, mother, wife, daughter, sister and pastor. Every day I make choices about the roles I will play in any given situation. Sometimes I get lost in my roles. Lost as in “confused”. Sometimes I get lost in my roles. Lost as in “in love”. There are times I long to be one person and play one role. Period. In his song “Tourist” singer Mason Jennings questions: “Is who you are now, who you want to be now or are you someone you don’t wanna be? Is what you wanted, what you really wanted or is it nothing like you dreamed?”
Think of a time you were given a role and told to perform? What was that like? What surprised you as you lived into the role? When did you feel least prepared? Who supported you? Who was your worst critic? What reviews did your performance engender?