Monday, December 14, 2009

The Christmas story part 6: Luke 1 - Jesus' birth foretold

What made Mary so extraordinary? She was poor. She was young, and she was a female. Through her, however, God changed the world. This is a testament to what God can do. At the time, women were treated almost like property. They had no real power, so people would expect a man to make a difference. Age and wealth were also respected, so since Mary was young and poor she had two more strikes against her.

I have questioned God’s use of our gifts quite a bit lately. Last night I received the news that young Amberly, the girl with the brain tumor that needed prayer for her surgery, had some major complications. They found out the tumor itself was malignant, and the long-term prognosis is not good.

How can God use something like this for good? My cynical nature tells me that it is yet another way that gifts get wasted. She is a highly intelligent 10-year old that may see her life cut short before it really gets started. In related news, someone I knew very well in high school is going through a similar battle right now. He is also very talented and well respected in his field, but has to face this. On a much smaller scale, I feel my own gifts are being wasted as I struggle to find my place.

38"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her. – Luke 1:38

Sometimes that is all we can do. I can’t imagine Mary’s fear either. In her world, being an unwed teenage mother was even more harsh than it is today. She would be labeled a harlot and would pretty much be cast out of society. She had to trust God knew what He was doing. Even in all this she still left to help her older relative Elizabeth.

As I begin yet another week of uncertainty, a week in which it looks like no good can happen, I can only repeat Mary’s words with all the conviction I can muster. I am the Lord’s servant.

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