The Angel came to Mary and said “greetings favored one! The Lord is with you.” But Mary was perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The Angel said to her “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. You will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and his name will be Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the son of the most high God..” Luke 1:28-32a
“There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, there are no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect.”
Advent has arrived, and with it comes our opportunity to face the closing of a chapter and the opening of a new one. We humans often seek continuity and sometimes we resist change because of our inattentiveness to pondering the ways of the Lord. Mary meets the angel who tells of not just a new future, but impossibility! She is going to be the mother of the one who will be called the Son of God! I have heard of high expectations for our children, but wow! These expectations of a child not even yet conceived were enormous! Mary pondered this a bit and then added to the challenge, “how can this be since I am a virgin?” (v. 34) But the angel is swift to respond with “nothing is impossible with God”.
The end of the year finds us facing the unknown, the uncertainty of a calendar yet to be revealed. We have dreams and hopes, vacations planned and some dates filled up, but the reality is that like Mary, we are given a chance to ponder a future with the Lord leading our way. We are invited to birth a new spirit, we are challenged to birth a new passion, and we are expected to birth a deeper trust for the God and the ways we can faithfully serve Him and his kingdom.
I hope you will ponder again the well known story, I hope that the voice of the angels will do so much more than announce a “Christ born in Bethlehem”. I hope the season will find you hearing the invitation of a personal call that the Lord has for your life and that you will ponder the depths and reaches of the ministry of SHUMC and anticipate the future with arms wide open and eyes which excitedly seeking the work of the Lord in our community. The best is yet to come, as long as we follow the star and encounter the Lord of life! That only happens when, like Mary, we are prepared to say “Here I am, the servant of the Lord; may it be as according to your word.”
Join us each Sunday Evening in the Shepherd’s Vineyard at 7:00 pm as we travel the way from Nazareth to Bethlehem with Mary and Joseph, the journey to birth a King of Kings and the Lord of Lords!” We will follow them through the Annunciation to the Birth, and along the way learn more about the lives of two very ordinary servants called to an extraordinary call. Come be a part of “The Journey”!