Summary: Resolving feelings of inadequacy by observing God's ability to use the marginalized for service
All of us probably wish that there were something special about ourselves.
Sure, there are those who seem to be gifted with a strong confidence in life and an intense sense of purpose, but the vast majority of us struggle with feelings of inadequacy and inferiority in all areas of life
What are some of the areas we can feel inadequate to deal with?
...in relationships, at work, even just in facing the challenges of life.
This is also something that effects our thinking at times when it comes to God.
We have this very common tendency, as we talked about a few weeks ago, to assume that there are those who are really good at being Christians, and then there is me.
I struggle with this all the time...a feeling of inadequacy and inability when it comes to my journey with Christ, not to mention the insane idea that I’m supposed to be a leader in this church.
It’s very easy to create a straw man in our minds, the good Christian, the one who is capable of doing and saying the right things all the time, the ones who are really in a position to be USED by God in significant ways.
Our current Christian culture has only reinforced that tendency by creating ministry CELEBRITIES...the big name authors and speakers whom we idolize and look up to and consider to be the important Christians in our time.
But I’ll tell you, if there’s one thing Luke’s gospel will do...it will shatter that idea.
One of the driving themes of Luke’s gospel is the way God intentionally seeks out the marginalized to use and to bless.
Luke loudly proclaims, this plan of God’s is for EVERYONE...ANYONE is able to be a part and play a significant role in what God’s doing.
This becomes very clear as we read the next story in the events that lead up to X’s appearing on the earth.
Last time, we read about a priest named Zechariah and his infertile wife Elizabeth...how an angel visited Zechariah while he was in the temple, and told him that God heard his prayer for a son…and remember, Zach had trouble believing that, so God sent a corrective impairment to get his attention.
The section ended with Elizabeth getting pregnant, and we considered how we can learn about coping with disappointment by looking at their story.
So now today, the story picks up 6 months later...after Elizabeth has realized she’s carrying a child.
26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary.
Now, just off the bat, we don’t notice much about the details Luke provides here...we hear names like Galilee and Nazareth and they are automatically associated with sacred places in our minds…but that certainly wouldn’t have been the case to the first readers of this account.