Stop and thank God for being present with you today. Ask for God’s guidance as you hear God’s voice through scripture and the writer.
Luke 1:26-38 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.
I love this passage. I wish I could be more like Mary.
I imagine that Mary had more than one simple question in her heart and mind when an angel appeared to her and said these things. I mean, it took me a couple of weeks to figure out whether I should leave my restaurant job to become a full-time minister. It was obvious that God was calling me to ministry and a church called me to preach. Eleven years later it seems I made the right choice, but at the time there were so many questions and concerns.
First, there was self-doubt. Could I be a minister and not mess everything and everyone up?
Second, there was an issue of money. Could I really justify a $50,000 pay cut and did I really want to justify that pay cut. Maybe there was another church God really wanted me to go to that had a little bigger budget.
Third, there was an issue of leaving home. This church was in another state. I had all my ties in Tennessee.
These were the big issues and I wrestled with them. Again, looking back it was stupid for me to even hesitate. I have been semi-successful. I met my wife and now have a family. The money came out alright. That pastoral position gave me insights and tools to do my current job as the Adult Ministries Coordinator for the denomination. It seems as though God had this masterful plan and I was supposed to simply be obedient. Funny how that works!
So back to Mary. Her response, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” This is great faith!
Lord, the spirit is always willing, but this flesh is weak. Help us to view things through Your eyes and be willing to be obedient, even when obedience causes us great concern.
Go with God!