Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Words from Wednesday (Devotional)

Expecting Christ

Lately, I’ve had this fascination with Mary, the mother of Jesus. In talking with my sister about a recent Bible Study she took part in, I learned a little more about this highly-favoured young woman. Luke 1:26-38 tells us of the angel Gabriel visiting Mary. Verse 28 tells us that the angel went to her and started speaking of Jesus, who would be born to this virgin girl.

In the Bible Study, a question was posed about Mary’s response to an angel. Why wasn’t she afraid? Why wasn’t she surprised by the visit? Why wasn’t she flat on the floor? It says she was greatly troubled by the angel’s words or what his greeting might mean, but not troubled that he was even there. And then she responds to this unbelievable news very calmly, accepting this huge responsibility from God. How could she just do that? I think I might have been speechless, or arguing with the angel, or freaking out, or . . . the possibilities are endless!

But Mary was expecting this. Every Hebrew woman was expecting this, and maybe hoping they would be the one used by God! Prophecies had been made that the Son of God would come this way. They were eagerly waiting for the Messiah to arrive, to bring peace, to set them free from all their troubles.

Then I began to wonder about me and my own life. We are taught in the Bible that Jesus is going to return. Romans 8:19 says, “The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.” Hebrews 10:35-39 encourages Christ’s followers to keep their confidence in His return and they “will receive what he has promised . . . he who is coming will come and will not delay” (verse36-37). Mary and the other Hebrews lived their lives in anticipation of the arrival of their Saviour. They were taught the prophecies and they knew them. They knew what to look for. They knew how to listen to an angel who might visit them with some great news. So now I have to ask myself, what am I doing specifically to eagerly await His return? Or perhaps, what am I going to do differently now to await his return? One passage that speaks to this is Hebrews 10:19-39. Draw near to God (in prayer, in devotion, in bible reading, in service, in pretty much everything!). . . hold on to hope . . . spur one another toward love and good deeds . . . meet together . . . encourage one another. . .

Other passages to read: Revelation 19:11 and on, Matthew 24, and Romans 10: 18-27

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