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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Mary's Revolution


I love the Christmas story.


I read it and reread it each year at Christmas time.


I ask God to reveal something new to me each year. Something to meditate on. Something to find new wonder about. Some amazing new revelation to put me in great awe of God each Christmas.


He doesn't have to give me new revelation but he does.


Each time I ask, I receive.


Amazing!


I love that about God.


This year I had to teach the Christmas story to my international friends. In preparation, I read the Christmas story as if I'd never heard any of it before in my life. Ever.


When I finished, my first thought was...Cra-zy!


A virgin gets pregnant by the Holy Spirit (who's he anyway) and gives birth to God in the form of a baby boy. Her son is Jesus, God's very son, sent to save the world from a life of sin, a world with no hope.


Again, cra-zy!


Once I got past the mysteriousness of the basic story, I don't see how anyone can accept this without receiving supernatural revelation from the Holy Spirit, I looked at Mary and Joseph.


How did they recognize God's voice. How did they know the angel was Gabriel? Where did they get the strength to obey? Why didn't they ask more questions? Did they ever really get used to hearing from God via dreams and visions?


The questioning thing stuck out to me this time.


This is what I know.


The Jewish people were waiting for their Messiah.


Each mother was dreaming her daughter would be chosen to birth the Christ, the Son of God.


Each time they told of God's prophecies, passing them down through the generations, most likely, they added their own interpretation to them. Even if the element of humanism wasn't spoken it had to be alive and well in their hearts.


We pray with expectations today as well. We tell God how to solve our problems all the time. We pray that we'd get a certain job, a certain promotion, a certain grade or a certain something. We do. We are human.


So, of course, they thought Jesus would be born into greatness. After all, he would king of the world. He would establish a kingdom that would reign forever. He would be God incarnate.
Little did they know...


Mary got a visit from an angel.


This is where I got stuck several weeks ago. This is still where I'm at.


"But when she saw him, she was greatly troubled and disturbed and confused at what he said and kept revolving in her mind what such a greeting might mean." Luke 1:29


"Revolving in her mind what such a greeting might mean." She tossed around what the angel said about her. She examined it. Did she believe it? Was this a crisis of belief for Mary?


Let's look at what the angel said about her, what God said about her. After all, angels are God's messengers, God's mouthpieces.


"And he came to her and said, Hail, O favored one [endued with grace]! The Lord is with you! Blessed (favored of God) are you before all other women!" Luke 1:28


Did she believe she was favored? Blessed before all other women? Endued with grace?


Well, the angel sure meant it because there are exclamation points after every sentence here. He had come from the very presence of God in heaven to communicate to Mary who she was and why she was favored.


Why was she favored? The Bible calls her righteous. She obviously knows God's Word as her responses to the Lord are filled with the Psalms. Her conversations in the gospels are filled with God's own words from the Scriptures.


But, why was she chosen?


God chose her.


Just as he's chosen each one of us.


To be part of his family, to receive the precious gift of salvation through Jesus and to have access to his throne of grace in a personal relationship.


It seems to me that once Mary accepts who she is, she has little difficulty in believing who she is becoming, the mother of the Savior.


After the angel tells her she is with child by the Holy Spirit, her response is submission and acceptance.


"Then Mary said, Behold, I am the handmaiden of the Lord; let it be done to me according to what you have said. And the angel left her.
And at that time Mary arose and went with haste... " Luke 1:38-39


Mary accepted it in her heart and her feet followed hastily, quickly, immediately. She had a spirit of true obedience and ultimately, of love.


This Christmas let's let our minds revolve around what Jesus did and who that makes us.


"For [the Spirit which] you have now received [is] not a spirit of slavery to put you once more in bondage to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption [the Spirit producing sonship] in [the bliss of] which we cry, Abba (Father)! Father!" Romans 8:14-16


This Christmas season let's cry out in bliss to the One who's birth we celebrate as we remember...

"The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a Mighty One, a Savior [Who saves]! He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest [in silent satisfaction] and in His love He will be silent and make no mention [of past sins, or even recall them]; He will exult over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17

As we live fully surrendered to who we are called to be, let us fully submit to what we are called to do giving him who has called us all glory, honor and praise.

2 comments:

Kathryn, Michael & Alex said...

I love that this story is way to crazy to believe, but yet the Holy Spirit works so mightily in us that we can't help BUT to believe.

I pray Christmas is all about Jesus always!!!

Wilhelmine Mitchell said...

Amen!