Friday, December 21, 2007

Today you will be with child....

I started reading the Gospel of Luke the other day. This gospel isn't what I would call my "favorite" out of all the Gospels, but I do enjoy it nonetheless. For the past couple of days, I have read and re-read Luke 2, which is appropriate since we are about to celebrate our Lord's birth. This was not done on purpose. In fact, I have been reading in Daniel but for some reason the other day felt compelled to turn to Luke.

I have been pondering, meditating, praying, thinking about what it must have been like for Mary. In Luke 1, it tells us that Mary responds to the angel Gabriel, after he tells her that she will be giving birth to the saviour of the world, by saying "I am the Lord's servant, May it be as you have said"

My first thought is "wow, what faith she had. She believed and was obedient (not like she could be disobedient "sorry God, I don't think I want to give birth to your son..."), without hesitation" But I can't help but think along with the excitement, that she was also scared. Can you just hear her telling her relatives... "I promise, I am still a virgin...Yes, I know I am pregnant, but I have not yet slept with Joseph or anyone else for that matter"

There was not a hint of hesitation at the time...but that is not what I want to talk about.
After Mary gives birth to Jesus, the angels lead the shepherds to the manger. In Luke 2:19, it says "But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." The actual idea of giving birth to the Messiah would have been way more than enough for me to treasure, and ponder them in my heart...what a miracle to experience. Sit back, and try to imagine that you are Mary. It is extremely hard to do, but try it. You have just given birth to the Messiah, but even you (Mary) don't know what that really means. I think she had a deeper understanding than others may have, but she still didn't get it.

Case in point, later in Luke chapter 2....
It gives an account of Jesus, when he was 12, being left behind at the temple and nobody noticed he was gone, until a day into the journey. The parents become upset with the saviour of the world. Vs 48 "When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, 'Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you." Listen to Jesus response in verse 49, "Why were you searching for me? he asked. Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" Vs 50 tells us "But they did not understand what he was saying."

Mary didn't get it. Although in chapter 1, the angel Gabriel tells her that "He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end" Apparently Mary forgot this tidbit, if she hadn't, she would have understood why Jesus said what he did in 2:49-50.

What is interesting though, is in vs 51, it says "Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all of these things in her heart."
She didn't understand a lot of what was going on, but she trusted in God. She knew that something exciting was going on , and so she clung to God. She trusted while being in a state of great uncertainty.

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