What we say yes to forms us. One way or the other.

Mary. She said yes. To God. 

She gave Him all she had.

“I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May your word to me be fulfilled.’ Then the angel left her.”

Luke 1:38

She held nothing back. And it would cost her everything. In saying “yes” to God she risked her life and diminished her reputation. She could have been stoned to death under traditional Jewish law. While God forms silently within the safety of her womb Mary negotiates the painful, lonely path of awkward explanations, misunderstanding, potential divorce, scandal and public shame. She won’t see the angel choir or hear their joyous  song, instead she’ll know the no room at the in. 

And when her Son grows up to be a man she’ll have to navigate the white waters of His unusual public behaviour, ‘politically incorrect’ teachings and finally the anguish of His violent death on a cross.

She said yes to all of this. She said yes to God. As King. 


What if she’d said no. It would have been so much easier. Quieter. Safer. She could have lived out her days in the peaceful countryside village, far from the threat of malevolent Kings, the gossip of idle tongues and all the confusion and shame her calling brought.

It would have been easier to say no. It always is. And it’s easy to dress up our ‘no’ to God with elegant rationalisations. We can even twist things around to make our ‘no’ look like a sensible ‘yes’. We can convince ourselves. After all, surely God wouldn’t want us to be uncomfortable.

The problem is, that God’s Kingdom, this Kingdom of the one true King, is profoundly uncomfortable. The true Kingdom breaking-in breaks all our equilibrium, both in the world outside and the world within our hearts. God’s Kingdom is gritty and challenging and annoying and bold. And this God, He has the temerity to invite us to join Him in it! 

Because it’s where our calling lies. Our calling to be fully human, fully alive. With Him.

Living ‘yes’ to God is living as a fully alive human being. 


Mary. She didn’t have a comfortable life. But she lived. She heard angels speak, felt miracles form within her, heard blessings spoken over her, and saw God take His first infant breath. And though she may have experienced the derision of her community she also experienced the faithful love of Joseph who was called to walk alongside her through it all: His ‘yes’ to God.

The foundation of God’s Kingdom coming on earth is this humble ‘yes’. The living of it. The breathing of it. Jesus lived this and taught this. He taught us to live it and pray it…

…“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.’ 

Matthew 6:9-10

This Kingdom comes when God is King, when His will is done on Earth. This earth right now beneath our feet.

This God calls us to say yes to Him. But He doesn’t call us anywhere He hasn’t already gone. In Gethsemane Jesus said ‘yes’ to His calling, just as His mother had. And in saying ‘yes’ to His calling, He was saying ‘Yes’ to us.  It wasn’t easy or comfortable or popular. Three times He prayed, asking for reprieve, asking for another way. And three times He surrendered saying “yet not my will, but yours be done.” And with every breath filled word, every syllable spoken out loud, every ‘yes’ to God, Jesus knew He was speaking God’s Kingdom into existence.


What we say yes to forms us. One way or the other.

Saying ‘Yes’ to God, it forms His Kingdom. Right there beneath our feet. 

And re-forms us. Restores us. Whole and alive. 


IMGP0502Day 18


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