15th December

annunciation-auguste-pichonThis is today’s reflection from Dr Micha Jazz and Premier Christian Media. It is based on Mary’s fiat: “I am the handmaiden of the Lord, let it be done unto me according to thy word.” Lk 1:38

I am increasingly engaged in working on issues relating to spirituality and ageing. It seems strange that when all the statistics reveal that the average age across the UK is rising, there appears little creative work around the issues related to age, apart from practical interventions when age is overtaken by diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Important though such work is, there is incredible ability locked up within a growing segment of the population that we choose to ignore. From befriending death to discovering innovative ways of continuing to contribute to the kingdom of God on earth, there are so many useful conversations waiting to be held, as I discover in my workshops and retreats.

We can choose to live in deception, yet scripture is clear: we are mortal and each of us will die. One essential conversation is about facing the adventure that is death and creating an opportunity to talk through fears in a group or one-to-one. Often that very fear paralyses us and we fail to explore our preferences with family and friends when we are dying. This means family have little opportunity to learn from critical periods we have passed through and may have no idea of what we might like at our funeral.

Most people like to push the reality of death into the background. Others do not enjoy this luxury since they are overtaken by health issues that bring the moment of their death forward, as was the case with Katey.

Mary, having been confronted with the overwhelming news of her supernatural pregnancy, responded by giving herself entirely to God. Her words prefigure those of her son, Jesus, as he agonised in Gethsemane: “Father if you are willing, take this cup away from me; yet, not my will but your will be done.” Katey and I struggled yet eventually made our peace with it. We acknowledged that even though we could not understand it, that this was God’s will for our life; we were willing to trust that God was in charge. Failure to reach this point would have made our journey harder, if not impossible.

QUESTION: Whatever condition you find yourself in today, seek to move to the place of submission and pray with Mary, “let it be with me according to your word”.

PRAYER: Lord, I do find it hard, but help me to trust your good, perfect and pleasing will.