Saturday, December 18, 2010

Just Say Yes

Because of its juxtaposition to the word "no", the word "yes" is inherently positive.

Think about this. While there are some questions for which a "yes" response brings bad news or rejection (So, does that mean you don't want to go out with me?), more often than not, hearing a "yes" is a good thing.

"Can I go to Matt's house for a sleepover?"

"Are we going out to eat tonight?"

"Can I stay up past bedtime?"

"Will you marry me?"

Imagining a "yes" response to any of these or countless other questions, brings with it the hope, excitement and joy surrounding those situations. So close is the connection between the word "yes" and good feelings that simply saying "yes" with a little flair ("YESSSSSS!" maybe even with a fist shake or elbow pump) can heighten one's mode.

There are probably monumental yeses in your life ("Yes, I'll marry you", "Yes, we're pregnant"), but no "yes" in the history of the world was as monumental as the one given by a teenage girl over 2,000 years ago.

The Angel Gabriel asked Mary if she would bear God's only Son. With only a moment's hesitation (long enough to ask exactly how this could be), yet most likely frought with equal parts anxiety and hope, she responded, "Yes." The Gospels attribute Mary with a much more eloquent response,

Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done unto me according to thy Word (Luke 1:38).

A yes, though, by any other words would still smell as sweet. And even
though unlike Mary we are born with original sin, and even though 1/2
of all of us are not biologically able to bear a child (a claim I
humbly make fully knowing Gabriel's words to Mary, "For nothing will be
impossible for God" (Luke 1:37)) God approaches us this Advent with the same
questions He offered to Mary many years ago:

Will you let me into your life?

Will you bring me into your homes and your hearts?

Will you bear me, and all that comes with carrying me with you?

Will you prepare for my coming?

Will you deliver me into this world?

God yearns for a positive response from us. He hopes that this year, this Christmas, we will answer with an unequivocal "yes", forever changing our lives and in turn, our world. Like Mary, we may be anxious and fearful about responding in the affirmative. We may even be excited over the prospect of a life with Christ.

But, are we courageous enough to just say yes?