The prophesy for Mary was as individual as they come. Simeon starts of revealing greatness and ends with sadness (Lk. 2.28-35). Greatness in the Saviour sadness in the heart of Mary. If our resolution aligns with Christ and God perhaps it is inevitable that some will feel sorrow. However, sorrow is sometimes pointing to our own inadequacies rather than to the poverty of the outcome of the resolution. In seeking for the future, we must allow the future to embed itself within us rather than being something that we drag up from the past to make into a "future". In allowing God's Spirit into our lives and following the will of the Spirit we open ourselves to sadness and joy. Just as Mary is foretold to have her heart rent (Lk. 2.34b) we too will have our hearts rent. Simply this is a result of our own wants being dashed, maybe not as drastically as Mary but in some respects in a very similar way. Mary would have wanted her child to have a long and productive life. Maybe even as the prophesied King or even as a favoured prophet within the Judaic way. She certainly did not wish or want an early death let alone one upon a cross. However, she did not cling to what she wanted but she allowed the Spirit to direct her place and her dreams so that we to could dream with Mary of a new world.
God walks with us if we allow him to but it means giving up our wants
Our inability to allow ourselves to be taken by God and shepherded by God, and companioned by God draws us backwards rather than towards the new life that God promises all his children. We companion our children through life, some not as well as others, but if we can do it why cannot we allow God to undertake this with his children (all of us) (Gal. 4.7). We ourselves were companioned by others as we grew up and as we entered into the workforce. Is it only because we have been taught that spiritual reality is not a true part of life? or is it because we do not want to give up our desires for the greater good of our communities? Reading "The Well Tempered City" by Jonathan Rose made me stop to think what we would really be like if we lived out the dreams of God in community, if we stopped to consider the rest of our community rather than just ourselves, if we actually managed to be advocates for those who are the poorest of the poor in our communities, if we had the capacity to build using the environment as a partner rather than as a usable and disposable commodity? Perhaps, our New Years resolution is to follow the call of God and not be persuaded to follow our dreams, to put up with the sadness but to live the glory. Only when we have become a place of peace and justice will we really understand what it means to be part of God's call.