December 1st, 2010
By Brett Klingenberg, Master of Divinity student, Seminary
Luke I: 26-38
Finally it is happening! The history of Israel is about to be changed! God has remembered the covenant with Abraham and David and the promised Messiah has been announced!
The angel Gabriel has been busy…busy bringing all sorts of unexpected news to unexpected people; the elderly Zechariah and Elizabeth, and now a young virgin, engaged, from small town Galilee. This young woman, Mary, doesn’t quite seem to catch the excitement of the announcement, this cosmic-shake up that is about to happen. I couldn’t help but notice how she was “greatly troubled” by the greeting of Gabriel and wondered what “favored one meant.” Maybe she wasn’t looking for any excitement; maybe she just wanted to get married and start a normal family leading a normal life. Maybe she wanted to stay a small town girl. What were these startling plans that God was making for her?
One of the things that I have grown to love about the Bible is that it contains hundreds of stories about ordinary people being confronted with an extraordinary God. In this story we find that God’s most extraordinary act of love is about to be carried by the most ordinary girl in Israel. And what does she say at the end of Gabriel’s magnificent speech? She simply says, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” I love small town girls.
This gives hope to us ordinary people. I’ve spent most of my life trying to experience God through extraordinary events, but am finally realizing the truth that our extraordinary God is breaking in on our ordinary lives every day. And the Spirit of this Messiah, announced to a regular small town girl, is alive and moving in our ordinary lives; moving us to proclaim our extraordinary savior to our world.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to embrace my ordinary life as I proclaim your astonishing love to my friends and neighbors.