Shared in Communion – 2013 12 08
Luke 1:26-38 – “And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.”
Jewish tradition tells us that young women who were consecrated to the Lord had dreams of being the one chosen by God to bring Messiah to the earth. I know you’ve heard this story many times. But today allow your mind to see it a little differently.
On this particular March 20, year 0 B.C., a young lady, probably still a teenager, has an encounter that changed her forever. It was Tuesday, so most likely there were chores to be done. Perhaps it was while beating clothes down on the river bank, or walking to or from the town square, or even sweating over the pot of stew that would be the meal for the day, Mary encountered the Lord. I cannot help but think that she was startled.
However, from the passage we see that the concern she had was not with the man, but with the words he spoke; she was “troubled with his saying”. Then something came to mind, perhaps a teaching she had heard at the synagogue, or something her priest-uncle Zacharias, Elizabeth’s husband, had said during one of her visits to their home. Isaiah 7:14 – “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
Could this be? What about Joseph? What will mom and dad say? REALLY? Has salvation come to our people? Am I going to be the mother of the Messiah?
The Lord, through Gabriel, assured Mary, “Do not fear. You have favor with God. You will conceive and bare a son, the Son of the Highest. He shall be great.”
Mary’s response here is so vital, and this is where we miss it when an encounter with the Lord comes to us. She did not ask WHY, or IF, but HOW!!!
You know the rest of this story. What about your story? Are you in a posture to have an encounter with God? He is still looking for willing vessels to accomplish His plans and purpose in the earth. Too old? What about Moses, Abraham, Elizabeth? Too poor? What about Gideon, Esther? Too young? What about David, Mary, Samuel?
If you will look, I think you will find a common thread in all of these “champions” of God. They were not surprised by an opportunity. All they needed was the “how”.
Colossians 3:1-2 – “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”
So, what is the Lord saying to you? When He does, and He will, are you willing to say, “Be it unto me according to Thy word?”