The Word Among Us

Advent 2017 Issue

Praying with Mary and the Angel

One way you can deepen your faith during Advent.

By: The Word Among Us

Praying with Mary and the Angel: One way you can deepen your faith during Advent. by The Word Among Us

One way you can deepen your faith during Advent is to take some time to read and ponder the Christmas stories in the Bible (Matthew 1:18–2:23; Luke 1:5–2:52). Let these stories tell you how deeply God wants to be with you. Let them show you the lengths to which he has gone to rescue you from sin and bring you to heaven.

You can begin by reading just a few verses from one of the stories. As you read, try to picture yourself at the scene. Maybe you will join Mary and the angel Gabriel at the Annunciation.

Picture yourself in the room. Listen carefully to Gabriel’s words and listen to Mary’s response. Read the passage again, only more slowly, verse by verse. Picture the angel—strong but gentle, excited but calm. Imagine how he is waiting for Mary to say yes. Now picture Mary, trusting but troubled, trying to understand what is happening. She had no warning. How easy it would be to stall for time. How easy to say, “Please find someone else.” How difficult it must have been to give her whole life over to the angel’s request! Spend some time with these thoughts, and then see what new thoughts come into your mind. Trust that the Holy Spirit will bless your effort.

Surely your appreciation for Mary will increase. Perhaps your own faith will increase as well. Maybe you’ll come to a greater appreciation of the love behind God’s plan. Maybe you’ll even say, “Lord, I want to do your will,” just as Mary did.

One word of caution: you may not always be able to focus your mind. You may spend your whole time with no new insights or even feeling a little frustrated. That’s okay; sometimes distractions get in the way. But if you persist day after day, you will be rewarded. Remember, God wants you to find him. He wants to speak to you. You just may need a little time and practice to get used to hearing him.