A Year of Being Kind blog – Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Being of Service? Reflecting on Mary.
Imagine a teenaged, unwed mother. In a conquered territory, under enemy occupation. Not only did she have the baby Jesus in less than optimum circumstances, in terms of hygiene and medical needs, but she was also far from her home as well.
This is what I taught about today, in the midweek bible study, specifically Luke 1:39-45. First, I spoke of Mary, talking with the angel Gabriel. Saying “yes” to the angel. Saying “yes” to God. Then, conceiving through the power of the Holy Spirit. And going to see her older cousin Elizabeth some weeks later.
How strange to our ears, today! What a wild story for us to swallow! Imagine the people of Mary’s day, imagine how improbable—how implausible the story must have seemed to them.
What has God done for you in your life, lately? Or, in the life of one of your family or friends? Has God done something improbable, or implausible? Do you think God can do something out of the ordinary? How big is your God? (How big is my God? Good question.)
Back to Mary. Mary must have lived simply. She was not wealthy, especially after the big reveal—the announcement that she was pregnant before marriage. She and Joseph must not have had too much money, even though Joseph was related by family to King David and his family line.
This is certainly counter-intuitive. Not wealthy? The baby Jesus, not born in a fancy house or palace? Strange, but true. This certainly goes against the health-wealth-and-happiness gospel preached by some television/celebrity preachers of today.
If we do say “yes” to God, our lives will be changed, without a doubt. God may ask us to go to different places, or do different things. Be uprooted, even homeless. Mary and Joseph were both far away from familiar people, places and things. They were travelers, like many people in the town of Bethlehem at that time. They both said “yes” to God.
Quite a challenge for me today. For us, in the bible study. God knows, I try to be faithful in teaching a bible study regularly, on Wednesdays and Sundays. And God willing, I pray that God may use the ideas and words I use to communicate to many hearts. Thanks for the help, God.
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