And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38
Who doesn’t love the Beatles? Don’t most of us sing along with Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison? When we hear those familiar tunes, don’t we all love to belt out the lyrics to “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” or “Twist and Shout,” or “Here Comes the Sun.” I do. When I hear them, I can’t help but join in.
And so, this morning’s revelation kind of stopped me in my tracks. Because today was the day I realized that the Beatles sang Scripture. And so, when millions of people sing along with Paul McCartney, they too, are singing Scripture. For “Let it Be” is biblical. It’s found in the book of Luke, chapter 1, verse 38. “Let it be…” And the words belonged to Mary. It’s what she said.
Sing along if you know the lines…
When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be…
Today I contemplated the lyrics of this song for the first time. Ever. Despite having heard the song hundreds of times, and having always understood that Mary is the mother of Christ, today I paused to consider their deeper meaning. “Let it Be.” What Let it Be could have meant to the Beatles. And what Let it Be means for us today. What wisdom lie within those words uttered by Mother Mary. Let’s consider…
Mary was a young virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph. And like any young girl who is soon to be married, don’t you think her mind was filled with what was to come? For she was soon to be a woman. She would soon leave her family to be joined with a man… becoming one flesh. But one day, everything changed.
An angel appeared to her, startling her with his greeting, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” Mary was troubled, and so the angel encouraged her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” He proceeded to tell her of what was to come, but she couldn’t imagine how that could be, for she had never known a man. The angel’s reply…
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.”
Imagine. This was a young girl. She had never been intimate with a man but she was told she would conceive. Do you think she was joyful? Or full of trepidation? For a woman didn’t have as many rights then as she does today. No, an unwed, pregnant girl would surely endure hardship.
And what of her engagement… what would Joseph think? If we had lived then, and found ourselves in similar circumstances, would we have responded as Mary did? In the face of harsh reality, could we have done the courageous thing.
Knowing with certainty that people would scorn and ridicule her, Mary accepted her fate. She was destined to be the mother of God’s Son, and she welcomed her circumstances. And despite what was sure to come her way, Mary said the courageous thing. She spoke words of wisdom and replied, “Let it be to me according to your word.” Let it Be. To me.
Mary may have been a young girl, but she was wise. God chosen one. And blessed was she who believed, for there was a fulfillment of those things which were told her. For she knew with God that anything was possible. Thus, she faced what life served up. She walked in courage and in strength for she dwelled within the shadow of the Most High. And as she poured herself into Jesus, her Son grew within the shadow of her love.
But over time, as she watched Jesus grow in stature with God and with men, she realized her destiny was complete. Because God’s love for the world, which was housed in a man called Jesus, soon eclipsed Mary’s love for her own. For Jesus was God in the flesh, and He had His own destiny to fulfill. And so, again, Mary had to let it be. Circumstances were beyond her control.
Let it be were the wise words of Mother Mary. They were also the words of the Beatles. And I just learned that circumstances may not have been so favorable at that time, for “Let it Be” was their breakup album. Perhaps those young men were drawing strength from Mary’s words at a time when they needed to be encouraged. Because Paul McCartney cries out no less than 36 times, “Let it Be!”
See, the band was parting ways, soon to venture off on individual paths. Was it an angry split? Or was it just time? Regardless of the reason, I’m sure a bittersweet season hovered upon their souls. And so Paul’s words must have come from a deep place. Words spewed forth from a turbulent heart. And ours too, as we echo his refrain, “Let it Be.”
I’m sure Paul meant what he sang. And may we feel the same. When life serves up something we’re not quite sure how to handle, may we face it courageously. And in our darkest hour, may Mary’s words be planted deep inside sprouting forth the peace we crave…
“Let it Be, unto me… according to your word, Lord.”
As for Mary, she was wise indeed. And she had a way with words. Even after Jesus was a grown man with His own ministry. For there was a wedding but the wine ran dry.
Mary knew what to do, though. She turned to Jesus. He replied, “My hour has not yet come.” She must have been persistent, though, for she directed the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”
More words of wisdom from Mary.
And the people listened to her. And did what she said. And what He said. Then, they beheld a miracle. Water turned to wine. And Mary? She probably wasn’t surprised. For she knew…
With God all things are possible.
And she knew her Son. For she grew up in the shadow of His love.
Mary turned to Jesus in an hour of need. And she pointed others in the same direction. She did so by speaking words of wisdom…
Let it Be…
It’s what Mary said.