Our story is made up of the unexpected. We’ve all been blind-sided by life. Some of the greatest lessons I’ve learned are from times that caught me “off guard.” This past year has been another to add to a long list . . .
The Christmas story may seem like an annual sentimental wake-up call. It tells the 2000-year-old story that seems as though we’ve heard it just as many times. And so it can become familiar. But there is much to glean in-between-the-holy-lines where we feel the heart of those who experienced sacred interruptions in their long-ago life.
Today we have incredible tools to comprehend more than our ancestors could imagine, but it comes with the cost of a diminished ability to marvel. However, we finite-thinkers will never understand the wonder of sovereignty.
The gospel of Luke tells the beautiful birth story of Jesus and miraculous conception of two babies. Right there it has me relate, knowing how a baby is a life-changer. It was for me as a teenage bride, and every baby after . . .
When I think of what it must’ve been for two ordinary women to experience the stun of their life – I can only imagine. Their life changing event changed not only their lives but ours.
The old barren Elizabeth gave up hope of having a child in her post-menopausal years until she found she was expecting the forerunner to the Messiah. The young and chaste Mary is angelically-told she would be expecting the One the people have been waiting for after 400 years of God’s silence. The first-coming of the Savior of the world.
Luke tells it well from eyewitnesses and servants who delivered the Word to tell the life-story of this divine baby. The breathtaking one of the God of heaven who stepped into real lives at a real time in history to fulfill a promise to mankind . . . to me-kind. And throughout the life of Mary’s child becoming her crucified Son, there is no way we can actually know the heart of how she was called to respond to the broken-unexpected.
It’s enough to stop us in our Advent tracks.
And so I’m in awe of Elizabeth’s response to a miraculous interruption, “the Lord has done this for me” and Mary’s “how can it be” followed with a “may it be.” And the angel Gabriel seals it with a “nothing is impossible with God.”
Never doubt an angel – even in-between the lines.
Our greatest life-changer, Jesus was born in Mary to be born in us who believe. And you dear friend who believe, are chosen and favored. For the Incarnation bent down low to earth to move into our hearts and bring hope. May our response to the hard-unexpected be may it be . . .
Be blessed this sacred season . . .