Friday, December 27, 2013

I’m Expecting!!

Submitted by Kerry Patton
“This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 1:18

How uncertain those first hours and days must have been for Mary.  She has just been told by Gabriel that she is to bear a son, born of God, not of man.  A revelation that when her husband to be heard, could have brought her public humiliation, or even death by stoning!  And yet, because Joseph learned in a dream that the child was of God, he was honorable, and raised the child as his own.  Yes, Mary was expecting!  But we might agree that it wasn’t what she expected…if you know what I mean. 

What was Mary expecting?  Well, obviously she was expecting a baby.  But she must also have had mental and emotional expectations too, although only Mary could tell us that for certain what those were.  We know that she was betrothed (engaged) to a man named Joseph.  It seems reasonable to think that she would have expected him to love her, to provide for her and protect her, and that together, she and Joseph would raise their children in the faith of their forefathers.

I would tend to think that the very LAST thing Mary expected was to bring the Messiah into the world.  She seemed as surprised as anyone to learn of the plan of God for her.  I don’t think she expected that her baby boy would be able to heal with a word or a touch, or to raise the dead, or turn a few loaves and fish into a feast for five thousand!

We do get a glimpse into Mary’s expectations when we find her in John chapter 2 at a wedding when the wine runs out.  She has by this time witnessed her baby boy growing into a full grown man, and no doubt seen many amazing things as God worked through him.  She comes to him and effectively asks him to do SOMETHING…whether she does so with her words, or her countenance…to which Jesus replies: “Woman, why do you involve me?  My hour has not yet come.” And yet, he is involved, and the resulting action is literally miraculous.  Wine from vases of water. 

And finally, I don’t think that Mary expected, as she heard Gabriel announce her pregnancy, that she would stand on Golgotha and watch the son she bore die on a cross for the sins of all humanity.  And yet, that is the story isn’t it. 

Here’s a question… Are you expecting?  No, no.  Not in the maternal sense.  Do you and I have expectations about what God might do in us?  One of the key things Mary did when the angel came to her was she effectively said “Whatever God has in mind, I yield to him.”  That is the key - yielding ourselves to whatever.  I think sometimes, we cannot even fathom what God might do in us, through us, and to us to accomplish his will in and on this world.  But it is my hope that we will all be “expecting” very soon.  You know what I mean.  May God fill us with new expectation of what he is going to accomplish. 

Almighty God, I give myself to you.  Work your will in me, through me, and to me.  Be it so done unto me, according to your will.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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