We’re almost there. Our Lenten journey only has two more Sundays before we come to Holy Week. Our scripture selections for today take a slight turn in direction when compared to the others we’ve been presented. We’ve had scriptures that have pointed us to Jesus’ journey to the cross – scriptures that have lead us to self reflection and self examination. According to Christian history and tradition, today we recognize the Annunciation of The Lord – the day that the Angel of The Lord came to Mary and gave her the news that she will give birth to the Christ Child. Upon closer examination, we may see that the Annunciation of The Lord and the season of Lent aren’t really so different after all.
It is safe to say that Mary didn’t wake up that day expecting to hear from the Angel of The Lord. If we read the text from Luke 1 closely we see that The Lord reveals two unlikely announcements to two unlikely individuals. Not only will a young teenager give birth to the Savior of the world, but a much older relative of Mary will give birth to a son as well. A virgin and a woman well beyond child bearing years are going to be mothers. How unlikely, but what a perfect situation for God to use to change the world. God is in the business of taking unlikely people in unlikely situations in order to invite them into his mission.
It could be this Lenten season you find yourself in an unlikely situation. We know that God is in the business of breaking into the unlikely situations of our lives in order to speak life and purpose. Are you ready for God to speak? It appears that Mary was. Her simple response was deeply profound and one we should seek to imitate. She simply said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Mary was ready to participate with The Lord and his mission.
As we’ve been journeying with Jesus to the cross this Lenten season we’ve witnessed Jesus and his obedience to the will of the father. Ultimately his obedience will lead him to death on a cross. The writer of Hebrews reminds us that through Jesus Christ offering his body as the ultimate and final sacrifice we can follow the will of God to be sanctified – or set apart for his purposes (Hebrews 10:10). It is when we are set apart that we can echo the words of the Psalmist in our hearts and proclaim, “I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.” (Psalm 40:8)
Be ready. The Lord is speaking in these days. Be ready. The Lord wants to break into the ordinary life and move us into the extraordinary.
Rev. David Snodgrass – Pastor – Camden First Church of the Nazarene – Camden, SC