Thursday, December 18, 2008

Unexpect News Luke 1:26-38

Any parent, either an adoptive parent or a birth parent, can tell you that their child's story didn't start the first day they held them. No the story starts for parents starts way before the first day you hold a child in your arms.

Jesus' story started with the surprise visit of an Angel named Gabriel. God's messenger came to this young woman speaking words that she'd never heard before.

Luke's words invite us into a space and time that has never been duplicated. Mary and the Angel meeting was a encounter like no other. Mary was so young; some think that Mary as young as 13 others think maybe as old as 17. The angle was so confident speaking words of promise and authority. Up until that very moment Mary had known her place in life. She had a plan for what was coming next. She was going to get married to Joseph. She was going to be a pretty normal young woman. She was going to do exactly what every other young Jewish girl in Palestine did. She had dreams and hopes like every other young woman her age. And now this angel came and started speaking to her in words and ways that she'd never heard.

The story of parenting sometimes comes as a surprise. Sometimes the surprise comes after years of hope and other times the surprise comes most unexpectedly. Mary had just met this angel and now in the same moment she learned that she was going to have a child.

Every so often my wife and some of my women friends remind me that there are certain experiences in life that I will never get. Pregnancy and childbirth, I have been told, are really quite different for the person giving birth than for the ones watching and hoping to hold the new born child. Today we see what God did through Mary's faith to change the world.

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