Monday, December 19, 2011

Mary's Angelic Meeting Luke 1:26

Mary's story starts unexpectedly: an angel met her and spoke words of hope and joy.

cai`re, kecaritwmevnh, oJkuvrio" meta sou`. Luke 1:28 (NA26)

Rejoice joyfilled/gracefilled one the Lord is with you.

Mary was young, just a teenager, promised in marriage to a man named Joseph. Her life, independent of mom and dad, was just about to get underway. The older I get the younger Mary seems. Just a teenager maybe 5 or 10 years older than our oldest girls. And Mary had plans for her life just about to take shape. Marriage, a home with her husband, and maybe even a family. Then this angel appeared in her life and her plans faded away as God's plans took top priority.

The Words from God's messenger were words of comfort. Do not be afraid, you have found favor with God. It's hard not to imagine Mary's thoughts jumbling together in her head as an angel, a real honest to God messenger from heaven, spoke to her, a human being.
Wordle: Do not be afraid Luke 1:30
Fear might creep in and cause paralysis for some or maybe even most of us in this kind of situation. But for Mary through faith all this somehow made sense. In Mary's day, just as it is in our day, much, maybe even most, of God's activity goes unseen. And God had seen all of Mary's life and now was going to work in her life to do amazing things in the world.

Many women have spoken of Mary's faith and courage as the news of Jesus' coming catches them. What do you hear as you hear this story. “Such a little girl”, one woman said. “And such big news just think of it,” said another next to her, “Such faith and hope in the words of this mysterious stranger,” said a third woman. The angel spoke to Mary on God's behalf. Don't fear; you've found favor with God. And Mary met those words with faith and hope. She had found favor with God and as we see the story unfold we see her faith and hope were clear.

The angel's next words were and still are unequaled in human history. God had a plan to come into the world. Mary's life: her body from the inmost parts of her soul to the most visible parts of her whole being we part of the plan: Mary was the one who God had chosen. Mary had plans and God had new plans for her body and her son. The child she would bear and raise were God's direct way into the world. God was stepping into human history in a clearer way than he'd ever entered into our world before.

This word from the angels and this faith of Mary's is where our story as Jesus followers finds form and shape. Our story as Christians is a story of hope in the face of so many things that seem impossible. It's a story of confidence in God coming through. Our story begins with the nation of Israel and their faith. And it continues as we find confidence in God coming into our midst not through extraordinary means like arriving on a throne in the clouds but in the fleshy body body of a baby.

Without ears of faith the news she heard would have startled and maybe cause her to panic. The angel was clear “You're going to have a child, He's going to be great.” And Mary asked one simple question. “How?” “How can this be I'm a virgin.?”

Listen to Mary's question: She didn't ask why me or suggest somebody else. She only asked, “How?” By faith Mary accepted God's plan and made it her plan. And by faith the Son of God grew in her and through her life more life came into the world.

There are some parts of the human experience men don't fully and personally understand. There are some parts of the story that we only see from the outside. This dimension of Mary's story makes more sense to women than to most of us with both an x and a y chromosome. Maybe I should stop here before I get myself into trouble later for speaking about things I don't really have a clue about.

But it must be said here that there's a mysterious parts of God's plan and part of that plan is new human lives start not on their own out of nothing, but from the generosity of one human being who would give birth to another. I've seen it happen and I know its real, but I can't explain it other than to say thanks to those women who have given of themselves so fully and completely that others might have life.

Pax, John

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