As I have been thinking about Mary and her experience of angels and pregnancy and birth it occurs to me how terrifying it must all have been for one so young, and how extraordinary her acceptance, obedience and faith were. She is a real example of a life lived by faith, of acceptance of God’s will and way, and of catching the breeze (or in her case perhaps the hurricane!) of the Holy Spirit and being ready to move in the Spirit’s flow.
Which reminded me of a conversation I had yesterday in the course of which I recalled a book I read some time ago which likened the Christian life to music and suggested that following Jesus is less like a classical symphony (where all the notes are set out clearly and are to be followed precisely) and more like jazz improvisation (where the basic key and rhythm may be set – although sometimes not even these! – but the within that the musician ventures forth, ‘feeling’ the music, interpreting it, and so forth).
And that is slightly scary!
But it is a picture that makes more sense of my Christian experience than one of rule following and precise ‘black and white’ responses. And it is an image which resonates a little with Jesus’ talk of the Holy Spirit and those who are born of the Spirit being like the wind. You don’t know where it comes from or where it is going.
Faith as improvisation, following like moving with the rhythm, Mary and all that jazz.
I find these concepts all rather inspiring and liberating…