Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Challenge of the Annunciation

Luke's telling of the Annunciation is a story too easy for us to simply read over, thinking we've heard it all before. We do ourselves a disservice if we don't slow down and read the exchange as though there is something there for us.

An angel appears in front of a young girl. No, not just an angel - an Archangel. Gabriel. He's been around but today he is entrusted with delivering a very important announcement. And so he appears.Usually in Scripture when an angel shows up, grown warriors fall to the ground and have to be coaxed to their feet. This girl doesn't do that though.

She is a bit confused. First, she isn't expecting an angel today and this one is telling her something about her having a baby and her baby being a king for Israel, a descendant of David on his throne. The angel has to repeat himself and expand his message a bit.He even tells her that her aunt who everyone thought to be barren was pregnant.

So we have two females who aren't supposed to have children. One a young girl, a virgin. Virgins don't have children. And an older woman, her aunt Lizzy. Barren Lizzy. Barren women don't have kids either. The pregnancy of her aunt is given to this girl as a sign that "nothing is impossible with God." Not even her own pregnancy which will be wrought by God Himself.

The girl's response to all this? "I am the servant of God. Whatever God wants, I'm in."

So, what about you? God stands before you every morning and says to you, "I've got a job for you today." We don't know what it is or all the details that might work out of it. Are we as accommodating as this girl? Is our answer, "I am the servant of God. Whatever God wants, I'm in?"

Now,don't make that job offer too big of a deal. It isn't usually save a life, convert a thousand souls, run a parachurch organization, or even rise to the top of our profession. No, usually this job is mundane. Be nice to the jerk at work. Smile at the passersby on the sidewalk. Engage the cashier as though she is the image of God.

It seems we are too eager to "go all in" for big jobs, but we often give ourselves a break when it comes to responding civilly to the run of the mill folks around us. But that latter is usually the job offer from God, and it is the one that we often overlook.

There is a game show called "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?" The question today is "are you as faithful as a fourteen year old girl?"

What do you think?

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