Resurrection Sunday is April 24th this year. During the weeks leading up to this special day of celebration we ponder the work of the cross and His resurrection.
The first reflection I'll share is about Mary and Joseph and their devotion to the things of God despite the obstacles they faced and how that godly character impacted Jesus.
Mary and the promise
The Messiah was promised in the book of Genesis. Every Jewish child heard about it and waited for His coming. We don’t know all the details of what Mary was doing when the angel came to visit her and gave the news that she had been chosen to bring the Messiah into the world, but we do know that it was very dramatic. Many overlook the treasure of things to be learned from her life because others wrongly ascribe worship to her. One of my favorite things about her is the statement…”Mary pondered all of these things”. The ponder statement is right after the description of the shepherds visit to the manger where they surely shared the story of the angels that came to their field and told them the Savior had been born.
She had a lot to ponder.
Mary encourages me because in everyday life there is a lot to ponder. To ponder means to intensely consider something or events. Walking out our life in God’s will can be like that…we can be right smack dab in the center of God’s will and yet have a lot to think about.
Being chosen and willing
Mary and Joseph were chosen of God to raise Jesus because of their godly character. It was a matter of the right time, the right place, and the right people. Sometimes serving God faithfully in our everyday life may not seem like an earth shattering thing, but God takes note of our love and devotion towards Him. While we know that Mary and Joseph weren’t perfect think a moment about the trust Father God put in them. Mary’s response at the end of her conversation with Gabriel was, “Be it unto me as you have said.” Every time I read those words of hers my mind goes to the garden where Jesus said to the Father, “Not my will but thine” Jesus is both fully God and fully human. He took on human flesh when Mary said, “Be it unto me as you have said.” and that human being needed parents who would whole heartedly obey God at every turn. He needed parents that would give Him that example in their daily lives. Mary and Joseph surely must have pondered, “why us?” but they rose to the task. We like Mary and Joseph may wonder at those things that God has placed in our spear of influence and responsibility. Sometimes we may wonder if we are up to the task. Their life shows us that God can take a person of character who is willing to obey Him and trust them with a great task. Remember others wouldn’t see the greatness of their task. Being parents seemed ordinary to those around them who didn’t understand who Jesus was and the circumstances for those unwilling to believe the truth would seem scandalous. The angel told Joseph, “Don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife” and explained who Jesus was and that He would bring Salvation. “Not my will but thine”, Jesus said…that last night in the garden…Can you see Mary and Joseph’s love and upbringing in that statement of total commitment!
Take a minute today and insert yourself in this story. First their story causes us to stop and ask ourselves if we have built godly character into our lives through obedience to the principles of God's Word and our relationship with Him that would give the Father trust to assign us an important task? Also do we realize that the seemingly everyday mundane responsibilities can add up to great godly importance and reward? Take a while to pause and think about the total commitment they made once they realized the hand of God in their assignment. "Be it to me as you have said"...."He took her as his wife"....The commitment would require a lot out of them. Are you willing to commitment to God in ways that require sacrifice ? Next time we will examine some of those sacrifices and how they impacted the life of Jesus.