I will listen to what the LORD God is saying, *
for he is speaking peace to his faithful people
and to those who turn their hearts to him.
in the Book of Common Prayer
Yesterday, August 14th, the Episcopal Church remembered Jonathan Myrick Daniels, a seminarian killed in Alabama during the Civil Rights marches in 1965. Jonathan struggled with God’s call. He wondered to what (kind of ministry, place of ministry, people to serve with) God was calling him. He returned to seminary:
Conviction of his calling [to ordained ministry] was deepened at Evening Prayer during the singing of the Magnificat: “ ‘He hath put down the mighty from their seat and hath exalted the humble and meek. He hath filled the hungry with good things.’ I knew that I must go to Selma. The Virgin’s song was to grow more and more dear to me in the weeks ahead.”
Today, August 15th, the Episcopal Church commemorates Saint Mary the Virgin (a Holy Day in the Episcopal Church celebrated every August 15th). Together, her “Yes” to God and Jonathan’s “Yes” to God have the power to inspire our own “Yes” to God. What an amazing mystery it is to share God’s story in our own lives, even as Mary and, much later, Jonathan did.