I was listening to an old Beatles’ song the other day, “Let It Be”, and as I thought about the words I wondered if the Beatles actually understood the Biblical message contained in their words: “When I find myself in time of trouble, mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, let it be.”

Those words of Mary are taken from Luke 1:38 after she had received the message from the angel Gabriel that she was to be the mother of the Messiah.  Mary could not fully comprehend all that it meant, but her response was, “I am the Lord’s servant.  May it be to me as you have said.”

While there was much Mary could not have understood, one thing she would have known for sure was that it would be very difficult for her.  The community would not believe that she had not become pregnant by sleeping with someone prior to her marriage.  Indeed, even Joseph who was “a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace” (Mt. 1:19) had in mind to divorce her quietly once she was found to be pregnant.  It needed a visit from an angel to convince him that Mary’s story was true.

Mary sets before us a powerful lesson: wherever God leads us, and whatever we are called to do, however difficult it may be, our response should be: I am the servant of the Lord—Let it be to me as He wills.  Thinking of it in this way, I am reminded of Christ at the end of His life as He faced the agony of the cross: “If it be possible, let this cup pass from me.  Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done.”

So indeed the words of the Beatles’ song are true: in times of trouble we need to turn to God and seek His will.  In the hours of darkness we need to hear the words of Mary: I am the servant of the Lord—Let it be to me as You will.

This past week I came across a poem that I thought had been written at some point in the last 30 years because of the message of the poem:

God, give us men! A time like this demands
Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands;
Men whom the lust of office does not kill;
Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy;
Men who possess opinions and a will;
Men who have honor; men who will not lie;
Men who can stand before a demagogue
And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking!
Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog
In public duty and in private thinking;
For while the rabble, with their thumb-worn creeds,
Their large professions and their little deeds,
Mingle in selfish strife, lo! Freedom weeps,
Wrong rules the land and waiting Justice sleeps.

To my surprise, I found that it was written by Josiah Gilbert Holland who lived from 1819 to 1881.  I could not find the date he penned the poem, It may well have been during the Presidency of Ulysses Grant (1869-1877), a time rife with scandals involving cabinet members.
It is a reminder that human nature has not changed, and that we always stand in need of God’s blessings and care. But even more important than the leaders we have, is the question of whether or not we are the men and women that God desires—men and women of honor, who will not lie, and whose deeds match their profession of faith!