Sunday, December 12, 2010

Being chosen

In the past few days I’ve been re-reading the parts of the gospels that tell the story of Mary being chosen to be the mother of Jesus. (These are in both Matthew 1 and Luke 1.) As if he was reading my mind, today in worship service Pastor Mark preached about Mary.

What strikes me as simply amazing is Mary’s faith and her acceptance of God’s will. She was just a teenager when the angel Gabriel delivered the startling news that God had chosen her to be the mother of the long-awaited Messiah. Imagine that—an ordinary teenaged girl. God chose a teenaged girl to bear his son. Being chosen by God did not make her life easy. To the contrary, it made her life much more difficult. Certainly she was ridiculed and considered a sinner for being unmarried and pregnant. And she witnessed the horrors of her son’s unjust crucifixion when he was in the prime of his life.

I sometimes wonder if she ever regretted the decision to accept God’s plan for her. When God chose Mary, she had to surrender any plans she had for the direction of her life. Did she yearn for an ordinary life without the tremendous weight of being the mother of the Messiah? Did she have any idea how God’s plan was going to be played out? Did she wish that her son would just work as a carpenter, marry a nice Jewish girl, and give her grandbabies? Perhaps so, but she accepted the will of God when her son was conceived and she gave her life over to God, not knowing what it meant but with trust in his plan.

Being chosen is risky business. Like Mary, we who by grace believe in God are chosen. We may be ridiculed, we may question our faith, and we not have easy lives, but aren’t we blessed?

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