Jeff Klein, Pastor of Outreach
Jeffrey Klein 0:07
Welcome to Elmhurst CRC's daily dose in the word of God. This is Jeff Klein, Pastor of Outreach here at the church. It's Tuesday, November 29, and I'll be reading from Luke, chapter 1, verses 28 through 39.
Jeffrey Klein 0:19
The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.” “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
Jeffrey Klein 1:14
This passage opens with Mary being confused and disturbed. What is she confused and disturbed about? The angel Gabriel just told her that she is favored and the Lord is with her. She immediately wonders what this could mean - why would someone say this to her? Then he breaks the news to her: "you're going to have a baby." Not just any ordinary baby, this baby will reign over Israel forever and his kingdom will never end. This baby will fulfill all the promises made to King David - that there will always be someone sitting on the throne from his line. This baby will be the Son of the most high - his name will be Jesus.
Jeffrey Klein 1:49
The next and most obvious question for Mary: "how will this happen?" She knows that she is presently not in that kind of relationship with a man, so this is an obvious question. Never before and never since will a woman get pregnant in this way. The Holy Spirit will overshadow her. The Lord will show up in the same way he did at creation at Sinai and mysteriously take on human flesh. The eternal God who has always been there, and always will be there, will now take on flesh. Jesus, this baby she has to conceive (as the writer of Hebrews says), will be the exact imprint of the nature of God. The best part is this: Mary - even though she realizes this will turn her life upside down - tells Gabrielle that she's willing. She offers herself to God as his servant, to be the one who will carry God in the flesh in her womb.
Jeffrey Klein 2:37
I'm sure she never fully anticipated all this would mean. According to the Apocrypha, there are trials for adultery and people questioning her behavior and integrity - having to explain to her fiance what happened, knowing that this has never before happened in the history of the world. But Marry's yes changes the history of the world as we know it. Her yes releases captives, makes the blind see, the lame walk, rebuilds ancient places long ruined, and achieves victory over sin and death. Have you ever wondered what your yeses to God might mean? Do you ever ponder how a simple, "Yes, I'm your person to partner with on that God", could change someone's life, or allow God to do immeasurably more than all you could ask or imagine.