So this is probably a dangerous thing to do, but I am going to use this blog and the FB group Blogging like its 2005 as my writing accountability. I have SO MANY writing projects in my mind that dont make it to paper/ screen. So here I am going to just put them out there. Unpolished, unvarnished, un everything. So, if you comment, be merciful.
This first set is for a series of books I want to do called 40 days with_____. They will be Orthodox devotional books written for families. They can be used for older kids to read on their own, for families to read together around the table, for a church school teacher to read for a short lesson. Each one will have a scripture, reflection and questions. One page a day for 40 days, so they can be used for Great Lent or other fasts. Or one per Sunday for a whole year of Church school. I have ideas for several of them, but the first will be 40 days with Christ and here would be day 1:
The story before the story:
What is the most powerful word ever spoken? Maybe you are thinking "Let there be light" when God created the world. That was pretty amazing, but I am talking about only one word. I think the most powerful word is "yes."
At the beginning of this story, we meet a girl, only about 14 years old who is doing what girls did back then. She was helping. But this girl was helping in the temple because she had been given to the temple by her parents at a young age to serve there. So she is already remarkable in that her time isn't in her family's house, but God's house. Tradition tells us that at this particular moment, she was helping weave a curtain to go across the Holy of Holies in the temple, the most sacred of all places.
In midst of her routine work, an angel appears with the craziest sounding message ever heard. And although Mary knows the scripture and worships faithfully, even she is confused. How can this be? How can I be pregnant with God's child when I am just a maiden? She wasn't doubting, she was just trying to put the pieces together.
The angel explains more fully the mystery of the Holy Spirit coming upon her. And though that doesn't make much more sense to our rational minds, she takes a minute and then responds with the most powerful word ever spoken; "Yes."
With that simple response, the whole course of history and humanity was changed. I'm sure she was scared and worried about what would happen to her, but despite that, Mary gave permission for God to come down and inhabit her body so that Jesus could be born. The God of the Universe was knit together cell by cell in the womb of Mary. All because she said, "Yes." And that "yes" made her into the Holy of Holies, the place where God dwelled.
Why is "yes" such a powerful word?
Do you think Mary could have said "no"? Why or why not?
What is the Holy of Holies? How is Mary like the Holy of Holies?
What powerful things could happen in your life if you say "yes" to God?