Cancelled plans

Natasha Moore reflects on how the pandemic has caused us all to hold our future plans more lightly - in light of Mary's experience.

We at CPX started “thinking out loud” like this in February 2020, right before the pandemic hit. So it’s unsurprising that Covid has featured regularly – we’ve covered topics including (but not limited to): slowing, lament, physical touch, vaccine equity, the blame game, and Julian of Norwich.

As 2021 draws to a close, we’re dedicating our December TOLs to the theme “Christmas Stories for the Covid Age”. We look at the story of Christmas, and at the experience of the past two years, and we think one has a lot to say to the other.

I’m kicking us off here on the theme of *uncertainty*.

For me, one of the routine experiences of 2020-21 has been of crossing things out of my diary – cancelled flights, holidays, events. Letting go of expectations, knowing that truly we don’t know what will happen tomorrow, let alone next month or year.
It has helped me read afresh the account of Mary, the Galilean teen whose plans (including wedding plans!) were derailed one day by the arrival of an angelic messenger with tidings of change, an event of not just global but cosmic significance: that she is to bear the Son of the Most High God.

From here on out, her life will be sometimes dangerous, bewildering, electrifying, overflowing. She will always know that she is part of something far bigger than herself. From her child’s birth to his death and resurrection, nothing will go as anyone could have expected.

In that moment of visitation, at the start of it all, she decides to let go of her future plans and step into the unknown – truly crediting, I suppose, that “the Lord is with you”, as the angel said. “May it be to me as you have said,” she answers. Faith in uncertainty. With rich reward.