If [Charles] Taylor’s characterization of our time as empty – a characterization I suspect many of us will find forces a self-recognition we would prefer to avoid – is accurate, we can better understand why we have trouble knowing how to acknowledge we are Mary’s people. We may be ready to acknowledge that the stories that constitute our lives are ones we may not have chosen, but we nevertheless believe that when all is said and done we get to make our lives up. But Mary did not choose to be Mary, the one highly favoured by God. Rather, she willingly accepted her role in God’s salvation by becoming the mother of God – even while asking, “How can this be?”

How extraordinary it is that we know the name of our Lord’s mother! The time we live in as Christians is not empty. It is a time constituted by Isaiah’s prophecy that a particular young woman will bear a son whose name will be Immanuel. It is a time constituted by a young woman named Mary who was chosen by God to carry and give birth to one fully human and fully God. It is a time that is made possible by Joseph, her husband, who trusted in what he was told by the Holy Spirit. It is that time in which we exist. It is a time that gives us time in a world that thinks it has no time to worship a Lord who has Mary as a mother.

Stanley Hauerwas