Will you say “Yes.”? Will you do “Yes!”?
Luke 1:38 Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant. Let it be with me just as you have said.” Then the angel left her. (CEB)
Matthew 5:37a Let your yes mean yes (CEB)
[Scripture taken from the Common English Bible®, CEB® Copyright © 2010, 2011 by Common English Bible.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.]
[Image: public domain]
Christmas means a lot of different things – carols filling the air; Santa Claus / Kris Kringle / St. Nicholas / Pere Noel; children smiling; gift giving; “peace on earth and good will toward all;” family togetherness; “God bless us, everyone.” For some it means disappointment; hectic activity; depression; “bah humbug!” For Mary it meant mystery, wonder, and affirmation of a future not yet known. Mary simply said “Yes.”
A simple “Yes” may seem hard to come by these days. Some see a war on Christmas because many of our citizens celebrate a different religious or secular holiday at this time of year. Merchants ramp up their commercialism. Charities make their end of the year pitch at a feverish level. And then there are the personal / family / friend concerns – did I forget someone on my Christmas card list? Will Uncle Charlie really like the tie we will give him? Did I really behave that badly at the office party?
When we strip away all the trimmings of the holiday season, just one thing remains for those of us who claim to follow Yeshua, whose birth we celebrate. Are we saying, “Yes!” It is a simple question with an equally simple answer. The answer, however, is less about mouthing the word “Yes” and more about doing “Yes!” We do “yes” every time we speak a kind word to someone who is hurting. We do “yes” whenever we welcome the stranger (including immigrants that are fleeing from political oppression and economic privation). We do “yes” when oppose racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia, hatred, and bigotry (even when it is uncomfortable or unprofitable to do so). We do “yes” when we oppose empire-building, patriarchy, and marginalizing strategies (even when we encounter it in our own family, club, religion, or political party). We do “yes” when we reject parochial tribalism that promotes “us” over “them” (whoever “they” may be).
“Yes” is a simple word; and it often seems a hard word to accomplish. May Mary’s “Yes” inspire your “Yes.” May your “yes” be a “YES!” this holiday season. May your “YES!” be the tipping point in a world accustomed to “no.” May it be the beginning of peace on earth and good will to all.