The MySpiritualAdvisor.com Reflection for this week focuses on angels, messages from God, little women and trusting God in your life. What do we need to know first before we trust God for anything? Are we there yet? #Good News #JesusChrist #35cents #Luke #GreatChristianPreaching #Advent #Mary #MSAWordfortheDay
For listener supported MySpiritualAdvisor.com, this is Mark Kurowski with a reflection for Sunday, 12/21/2014 The 4th Sunday of Advent.
Please pause this audio and read Luke 1:26-38.
There are three Archangels that we know of from Scripture. There are Michael, Raphael and Gabriel. “El” at the end of their name indicates that there is something of God or about God that is happening. So, the name “Michael” is a question: “Who is like God?” Michael defeats Satan by asking a question that shows the falsity of Satan’s claims: “Who is like God?”
The name “Raphael” is a statement, “God is healer”. Raphael is the angel who came to characters in the book of Tobit to heal them from cataracts and demon possession.
Then there is the angel who appears to Mary in our passage today to tell her that she, although a virgin, will be overcome by the Holy Spirit and be with child. His name is “Gabriel.” The name Gabriel means “God has shown himself mighty.” Gabriel makes two appearances in Scripture and they are both incredible. He first came to reveal to Daniel that which was going to come in the day of Judgment. Now, Gabriel comes not once, but twice in the Gospel of Luke to reveal the one who would pave the way for Jesus and then to announce the coming of the Savior of the World. What a LinkedIn page Gabriel must have! Under accomplishments Gabriel has, “I announced what was going to happen at the judgment,” and “I announced the coming of the forerunner to the Savior of the World and I announced the coming of the Savior of the World.”
I am not sure you could announce the happenings of three things that have any more sense of how mighty God is than these. They are the crux of why we go to church, why we kneel to pray, why we believe.
Our first passage for this Sunday from the 7th chapter of Samuel is an indication of things to come for the Davidic line of kings in Israel. God took a little shepherd who was the youngest of all the brothers and made him a mighty king who had built himself a mighty palace. I am glad that David had the pang of conscience to worry about the fact that his palace was bigger than the tent in which the Lord made his presence known. Yet, even David had no idea that God would promise him an eternal king from his genetic line. But, there, God took a small shepherd boy and made him into a king whose family would have an eternal king, Jesus.
God does great things. He takes Sarah, who is too old to have children, and gives her a son from her own loins. He takes a people of slaves in Egypt and gives them their own country. He takes a shepherd boy and makes them their king. Now, God, who does great things, sends the Angel whose name is “God shows himself mighty,” to a little woman in a relationship with a very honorable man, and tells her that she will bear God’s child. Knowing this history, it makes sense that there will be no room for them at the Inn and a manger will have to suffice.
What plays in all this is Mary’s concept of God. J.B. Philips onetime wrote a great little book called “Your God is too small.” Philips comes up with 13 categories of an understanding of God that are impotent, but ubiquitous. None of these concepts of God could have taken a baren woman and made her fertile, a shepherd boy and made him king, a virgin and made her the Bearer of God. It is only one who understands the vast complexity of a God who can do great things who could welcome an angel with the same name.
Mary reminds me of what her Son would say later on, “you must receive the Kingdom of Heaven as a Child.” Mary had to have the concept that with God all things are possible to be able to turn to the Angel from her initial fear and say, “Let it be done to me according to your word.”
Who are we? What are we doing with our lives? Are we truly open to what God is calling us to do? Do we trust him? Do we know and are truly open to what he has done? Is God a nice set of ethics we want our children to learn? Is God a fallback position when our own efforts fail us? Who exactly is God to you?
Only someone who had unbridled trust and understood at least a little that God does great things in the history of humanity would trust Gabriel’s message and say yes. Gabriel said that she would become pregnant with God’s child. He said that she would give birth to the Son of God! He said that son of God would be the king on David’s eternal throne. He said, “For nothing is impossible with God.”
I am not surprised to know that a poor virgin girl has this much trust. It is amongst the poorest that I have experienced the greatest faith. It seems those who have nothing can see the hand of God in the smallest of things which validates the long expectant hope they have. I remember standing on my porch, with $.35 left to my name, just enough to buy a newspaper. I was jobless, young and had an apartment to myself. I prayed for a job, bought the paper and began to look at the want ads as I sat on my porch. There in the paper, was a job I could do, knew I would get hired to do, and as I looked up the place that was hiring was right across the street! I knew it was the hand of God.
A little girl trusted the messenger of God. She agreed to be a part of God’s will. Because of it, your sins and mine are forgiven and we are going to heaven because we believe in Jesus Christ and are living the life he gave us to live. What would happen if you trusted the word of God and agreed with what God wants you to do with your life? How many people would be saved from themselves, from poverty, from sickness, from hurt, from pain and misery? How many people would benefit from you doing what God is asking you to do right now? Too many to count, I would imagine.
Rather than asking you to DO something this week that involves physical action, I am going to ask you to do something that Mary shows us how to do: trust. I am going to ask you to trust God. Trust him with your life. See what happened to her? It can happen to you. Amen.
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