Monday, December 22, 2014

Miracle Monday: Week 4

I’ve been especially excited about this week’s post ever since I had the idea for this series.


Because between today and Wednesday, we get to talk about one of my all time favorite parts of Scripture.

And yes, I know. Wednesday is not a Monday. BUT, I needed an extra day to fit in an extra special story so we’ll have Miracle Monday and Wednesday this week!

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Four hundred years.

Four centuries.

Forty decades.

However you want to look at it, it’s a very, very, very long time.

God’s people haven’t heard from Him in 400 years. What they had been hearing from Heaven was so silent you could have heard a cricket chirp, a pen drop.

They had been waiting for those prophecies from Isaiah to come true. The ones about their Promised King? He still hadn’t come but they held out hope.

They passed down these prophecies to their children and to their children’s children and to their children’s children’s children…you get the point.

I’m sure people asked, “Well, it’s been 257 years and He still isn’t here. Why should we keep believing?”

Their answer, “Because the God we serve has done amazing things for us and our people and we know He will keep His promise.”

So they waited.

And waited.

Through the silence they passed down the promise.

And still they waited, praying maybe their generation would be the one to see the King of the Jews born in Bethlehem.

Then one day a young lady, probably about my age (only 17), was going about her business…and then God said, “I have come to speak again.”

And the silence ended.

The Light was breaking through….to a teenage girl betrothed to a man named Joseph.

An angel came to Mary and told her that she would bear a son. That she was favored in God’s sight. That she was to call the baby Jesus…the Son of the Most High God.

Hold on. I’m not married. I can’t have a baby yet.
I’m favored in God’s sight?
Why the name Jesus?
Son…of the Most High God?

“How can this be, since I am a virgin?” she asked. Out of all the questions flying through her head, How can this be?

The angel tells her that the power of the Holy Spirit will come upon her and she will conceive by the Holy Spirit. “For nothing will be impossible with God.”

Her response blows me away every time I read this story, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”

And just like that, the angel left. The angel left and Mary was pregnant and not married and so young…and so afraid.

Let it be to me according to your word. 

She knew the ridicule that would come to her for being pregnant out of wedlock. She knew hardly anyone would believe her when she said an angel had come to her, much less that she was favored in God’s sight. She knew that her betrothal to Joseph would more than likely come to an end.

But not only did Mary say, “Let it be…”, she said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.”

In the middle of the scariest situation she has probably ever faced, Mary turns and praises the Lord.

This is all recorded in the book of Luke, chapter one.

If you flip back a few pages, you see the story of Joseph and get a bit of a different perspective.

In the first chapter we see the genealogy of Jesus Christ including people like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah and David. All sinful people who God used to bring about the sinless One.

In verses 18-19 we read this, “Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.”

But God.

But God was speaking again and sent another angel to Joseph in a dream.

“Joseph, your wife’s child is from the Holy Spirit, just as she has said. Don’t fear to take her as your wife. She will give birth to a son. And Joseph, call his name Jesus…for He will save His people from their sins. This all fulfills those prophecies you’ve learned about all of your life, ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’ which means God with us.”

And Joseph awoke.

He obeyed.

He took Mary as his wife.

And together they pushed past all of the fear, pushed back all of the worries…

They pushed back all of the questions like, “How will we raise the Son of God? What does this mean?”

Together in God’s power and in obedience to His Word they walked together knowing this was what God had planned all along.

After 400 years God was talking again…and He would use one perfectly normal, sinful young woman and one perfectly normal, sinful man to be the earthly parents of His own perfect, sinless Son…

And it would be the greatest love story to ever unfold.

Just wait, you’ll see. It’s what Christmas is all about.

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“When you make space in your words, in your wants, in your ways for Jesus, He comes and lives in the most miraculous way in your heart, too.” Ann Voskamp, Unwrapping the Greatest Gift

Luke 1:28-35, 28
“And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”

And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.

And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

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Christmas is coming. The day when the Savior would be born and hope would come…

*To be continued Wednesday, Christmas Eve*

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