Today’s lectionary text is Luke 1:39-56
39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” 46 And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord 47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, 49for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name. 50 His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. 51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. 52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. 54 He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful 55 to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.” 56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home. This is the word of the Lord
Take a moment and put yourself into Mary’s place. Here is a young girl, probably 12-13 years old, who has a vision of an angel telling her she was going to bear not only a child, but the Son of God, who will save the world. Okay – what is going through your head right now?
Mary responds to the angel “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Mary believed that God’s promise to send the messiah was going to come true. Mary believed that God’s promises to redeem Israel was about to come true. Mary believed God’s promises. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”
Why do we have trouble believing God’s promises today? When we have this great record, the word of God to read and hear about God fulfilling His promises, why do we struggle to believe today?
I don’t mean we do not believe in God or in Jesus as the Christ, I mean why do we struggle to hard to believe God’s promises? God promised to be with us always. God promised that even in tough situations, He would carry us through. God promised to care for us, to provide for us. But so often we give God lip service and then try to do everything our way, neglecting God. We may have a brief prayer before a meeting, or a meal, or even bed time. But do we give the time over to God? Do we actually invite God to come into our meetings, or bible studies, or work places, or homes? Do we say “God, we are your servants, may it be as You desire, or do we say a prayer, then “get onto business” forgetting that God is our business?
Mary’s example is one of great courage – saying yes to God meant she faced rejection, being outcast and even being stoned. But she said yes, knowing that God’s promises were about to be fulfilled. Are we willing to risk the same?