What’s New with You?
One of the prominent biblical texts during Christmas is the annunciation of Jesus’ birth to Mary (Luke 1:26-38). Many of us have heard this so often that we forget it was received as startling, borderline ludicrous news. Mary was not pregnant. She was not married. She was just a poor and lowly teenager trying to make it through another day. This little event in Luke represents an utter blindside by God!
I imagine that the first person to ask her “What’s new with you?” received an earful.
From Mary’s perspective, the annunciation was much more than news about a change in her family situation. It marked the beginning of her journey of faith. From that day forward, she began to see the world in an entirely new way.
Contrast this with our response to the question, “What’s new with you?” Inevitably, the response is always the same, “Not much. How about with you?” It seems we never have much new to share. Maybe this is because we tend to view life as it has always been, forgetting to see life as it can be.
I think the priest and philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin summed it up well when he said, “The whole of life lies in the verb seeing.” Advent is a time when we expect something new to break into the world, yet we may miss it if we do not see in new ways. So let’s stop asking “What’s new with you?” We already know the answer. Instead let’s ask, “What things are you seeing in a new way?”