Summary: God’s call will effect change, challenge, and will leave us with a choice as to how we’ll respond to it. It certainly did in Mary's world!
Luke 1:38, 46-56
Intro: (audio of Roosevelt’s speech: “Yesterday, December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”)
Last week we remembered the 7th of December. It was a day that started like any other for many people, and ended up a day that changed the course of our nation’s history.
Do you remember a day that changed your life? Some of you do. Some of you remember the date, what you were wearing, who was with you. You weren’t planning it. It may have been a great thing, it may have been a tragedy, but there was a day for some of you that you look back at and say, “That day changed my entire life.” Up to that point, things were moving along, fairly stable. You got out of bed, started your day like usual. Your life was pretty uncomplicated, then BAM it all gets changed. Good news, bad news, accident, promotion, met somebody, lost somebody, whatever – how many of you have had a day like that? (a lot)
When you consider how many people have been there and done that, you might want to know what to do about it when it comes. How do you handle a day like that, where your entire life is disrupted?
This morning I want to point you to the day when that happened to Mary. Mary went from zero to hero in one visit, on a day she had no idea that her entire future would change. She went from being a nobody, peasant girl in the no-account village of Nazareth, to being a front line element of the most significant event in all of human history. How do you handle the upheaval of your entire life? Let’s take a look at the life of Mary, and since she was “expecting,” I want to suggest what we should be expecting in order to handle it as gracefully as she did.
I. Expect Change
Mary was an engaged girl, probably a teenager. Sometime within the next year, she and Joseph were to be married. Life was shaping up pretty well. Now doubt, she had made plans for her future like any other engaged girl. They weren’t going to be rich from a carpenter’s income, but Joseph was a good man, and they loved each other dearly. She was going about her day, like she normally would. Then Gabriel appears – Gabriel, God’s messenger,
But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."
“This can’t be! How? I’m a virgin! These kinds of things don’t happen.“
Now, Mary may not understand, but she believes it. To help her understand how God is in control of such things, the angel tells her that her old cousin Elizabeth is 6 months pregnant. Elizabeth, who could never have children, was with child. Nothing is impossible with God.