Monday, December 19, 2016

At His Word

At His Word
December 19, 2016
Luke 1:38  "'I am the Lord's servant,' Mary answered. 'May your word to me be fulfilled.' Then the angel left her."

As it approaches the time of the year when we celebrate the birth of our Savior, it is necessary to revisit the story of His entrance into this world.  As I read the story of Jesus' birth, it is always interesting to note the response of Mary and Joseph at the discovery of His conception.  Start it out nine months to the magnificent delivery and you have Mary and Joseph engaged.  Then Mary discovers she is pregnant.  Seriously, the magnitude of what the angel revealed to her was so heavy and truly life altering.  She would be carrying the Christ child; conceived by the Holy.  The angel appeared to her and told her what would happen, but the angel never told her how to navigate the next nine months, keeping the momentum, the excitement, the faith.

We quickly gloss over the nine months of her carrying the child and immediately cross over into the events of the birth, but think about the battle in her mind.  After the angel appeared to her she was excited, elated, in awe, full of anticipation.  She took him at his word and believed what he said.  She believed she was truly pregnant by the Holy Spirit and that she would be the Christ child's mother.  How did she feel days later, weeks later, months later?  Did she doubt?  Did she question herself?  Did she questions if it was real or not?  If Mary was anything like you and me, she probably had thoughts of conflict, wondering if the angel truly did appear to her, wondering if she heard him right, wondering if she understood it correctly, wondering if it really was completely true.  She had to have moments of doubt.  The thing about Mary's story, though, is she didn't go through a dark time of personal confusion.  The Bible would have recorded her sin if she was in error in her path.  She clung to the truth revealed to her and believed, even when things got difficult.

It wasn't easy for Mary, traveling while pregnant, ready to give birth.  She was experiencing labor symptoms riding that donkey, being turned away at the Inn, just before delivery.  She didn't yell at Joseph for not providing a room for her or a comfy nest of her own.  She didn't complain that the Holy Spirit had got it wrong and that things were messed up with how things were turning out.  She never dreamed of delivering her first child in a barn, to a man she technically wasn't married to yet because they had not consummated their marriage.  When she was a little girl, she never envisioned it would turn out this way.  But she took the Word of the Lord for what it was worth and clung to it, clung to the truth that had to carry her through the times of confusion, doubt, and questioning, when it would have been easier to complain or give up.  There are more than a few of us who would have quit.  Not Mary, she took him at his word.

While it's a big deal to have an angel appear to you, there is so much revealed to each and every one of us throughout the Bible and throughout our lives that we have much to go on, much to live by, much to sustain us.  Yet judging by our lives, we don't live it out like we've taken Him at His Word.  Do you believe what the Lord has told you?  Do you live that like it?  Do you navigate as successfully as Mary or do you complain, quit, live out your sin, and then regret your decisions.  As you approach this time of year, do so by taking the Lord at His Word.  You may not be carrying the Christ child, but  you've been on a path directed by the Lord.  It's time live it like you were told by the angel who appeared to Mary.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Luke 1:26-56

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