Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The deep breath before the plunge

The Book that got me reading has finally been made into a feature film. In fact, the book is a trilogy of films. The Hobbit: An unexpected Adventure, the Desolation of Smaug and the most recent and concluding film, “The Hobbit: the Battle of the Five Armies”. I was and remain a lover of the literature of JJR Tolkien that created revealing the life of Middle Earth – the setting for the both the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings series. One of the things I like about the books of this series is the theology and the working out of life and its hardships through a Christian mindset. Please watch the video above so that you can understand a little deeper, what I share with you about what this week’s Gospel says about the Annunciation of the Lord Jesus to Mary (Luke 1:26-38).

The announcement to Mary that God was showing favour to her and that she was to give birth to a son. She took a moment, a deep breath and then acknowledged that she had indeed heard and received the message and was willing to allow God to work within her to work his miracle and bring about our salvation through her child. God would save his people through her son – and she must call him Jesus (The Lord saves).

Now let us be careful about some things. Mary did not just simply give up and give over – she pondered what all this might mean... after all what does it mean to be favoured by God? When one considers the examples of whomever else God favours, the Old Testament shows that that when you are on God’s side, you are in danger or are about to be in dangers of various kinds.  Mary was legally bound to her husband Joseph and then being discovered to be with child but Joseph not being the father could cost her everything: family, friends, reputation, marriage, not to mention her life and that of her unborn son.  

Mary was willing to accept whatever it was that God had for her to do – even if she did not understand it completely or thought it silly. There is a second story that goes with the Annunciation, the birth of John the Baptist. Zechariah the old priest and his wife Elizabeth had been childless most of their lives... people who had wanted them but had never been blessed with them. Zechariah doubted that God could make it happen in their old age and laughed derisively at the notion that it would now. As a result, he spent the entire pregnancy mute, and only when he followed the direction to name the boy “John” was he able to speak again.

Mary chose to believe not matter how silly or impossible it sounded. And there is something that this should make us aware of the presence of God in a person’s life – God is faithful to his people and he is a true keeper of his own promises and is trustworthy to his word.

Accepting God at his word does not make us crazy or foolish. It means that we are willing to trust and rely on Him and his word – even when the world thinks we are out to lunch. Allowing God to work in us and through us is what Christmas is all about. We might not always understand what we have been told; We may not realize what the consequences are of saying “yes” or “no” are. What we can trust is that God through his Son has our best interests at heart and is working out our salvation through Him.

This is the deep breath before the plunge into all that Christmas is: will you be like Mary and allow it be to you has God has spoken? Will you accept the thing that God has for you to do and allow God to begin to work in your life as he sees fit? Does it sound crazy or wild? Take a deep breath and then answer.


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