During our lives, we have had our special places. As children, the sandbox, a treehouse, the playground, a fort, our backyard. The special place of the beach, a park, a beautiful lake, or the mountains. The beauty of a garden, the peacefulness of a church or even the comfort of our favorite chair at home. These are the places where we feel safe, we play, we pray, we think out our problems, we come up with new ideas or maybe at last, rest.
In the Book of Revelation, we hear of a woman who gave birth to a son and then fled to the desert where a special place had been prepared for her by God (Revelation 11:19-12:10). That woman for whom a special place was prepared refers to Mary in whom God prepared a special place to give birth to his son. The Solemnity of the Assumption is the celebration of Mary being taken up to heaven to occupy for all eternity a special place with her Son, Jesus. It is in that same heavenly place that all of us hope to one day be. Life here is the doorway to that special place in heaven with Mary and Jesus.
As we look forward to joining Mary and Jesus in that special place, the Assumption of Mary calls us to connect with the special place within each of us where we find God. This is the place from which we feel hopeful, encouraged or inspired. It is the place that motivates us to come to church, to pray, to look beyond the obstacles that may keep us from God. It is the place from which Mary, after making what must have been the daunting decision of saying yes to being the mother of Jesus, said “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior (Luke 1-39-56)”.
The Assumption of Mary reminds us that sometimes it is difficult to get to that special place within because the places where we live outside can be chaotic, painful and confusing. Mary’s Assumption invites us to connect again with that special place within. A way to do that is to regularly go to those special places mentioned earlier that give us refreshment, comfort, tranquility and peace. Getting to the special place within can happen by remembering our special place with Jesus and Mary in the future only happens through life here. Everyday, we can let Mary lead us in her song of praise and gratitude in the midst of whatever pain or joy is happening in our lives as we sing with her, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
Together in faith,
Very Rev. Christopher H. Smith, Rector