Formations Lesson for December 20- Angels- from the Realms of Glory
December 2 2009 by Victor Lyons, Academic Dean, Foothills Christian College, Wilkesboro; Pastor, Union Cross Baptist Church, Elkin

Focal Passage: Luke 1:26-38

The birth announcement of John the Baptist (1:13) and the birth announcement of Jesus in today’s focal passage are often seen through the parallel lens that Luke provides. One rare glimpse of that lens is the fact that neither Zechariah and Elizabeth nor Joseph and Mary are praying for a baby in the moment of the announcement.

Neither have the baby beds ready. For Zechariah and Elizabeth, on the one hand, their prayers have gone unanswered for years and so they have given up hope of a child.

For Joseph and Mary, on the other hand, it is not time yet for a child to be expected. It is far too early.

They must wait and be patient until the time is right. For both couples it is not the right time to have a child. Too late! Too early!

When God speaks one can feel overwhelmed and inadequate.

The task is too difficult, the time is not right, and certainly there is no way that one can do this.

Doubts arise and one wants to run away and hide. Running is the story of Elijah and Jonah and countless others.

How would you feel if God asked you to build an ark that would hold the animals? How would you feel if God asked you to go and bring a multitude of slaves to freedom just like Moses?

Mary follows her faith and proclaims, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word” (1:38).

There are three parts to Mary’s reply:

First, she states that she is available. “Here am I.”

How many good things are missed because of absence?

Showing up
is half the battle. 

Second, Mary identifies herself as a servant, literally a slave of the Lord.

A slave, or doulos, “at the time of Jesus was . . . a lower level of humanity.”

By law the slave was classed with immobile goods, had no rights at law and could not own property.

Even his family did not belong to him; it was the property of the master . . . In the Rabbis, therefore, the word slave constitutes one of the worst insults one man can hurl at another; it was not for nothing that a man might be excommunicated for calling his neighbor a slave” (Gerhard Kittle, ed. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, vol. 2, 271-272).

Third and finally, Mary trusts herself to the “word of the Lord.”

After all, it was the Word of the Lord that brought the world into existence!

What is God asking you to do this Christmas season?             
12/2/2009 6:40:00 AM by Victor Lyons, Academic Dean, Foothills Christian College, Wilkesboro; Pastor, Union Cross Baptist Church, Elkin | with 1 comments




Comments
Rev. Ralph T. Newell

This is powerful information for my instructor!
12/12/2009 8:57:22 PM