Summary: Christmas Sermon
This morning I want to talk to you about one of the most important, yet ignored areas of life: your mission. How would you complete this sentence: my mission in life is…? Have you ever given it much thought?
Bro. Mike, what exactly do you mean by my “mission”? In church we talk about missions and missionaries as those called by God to leave home and bring the Gospel to people somewhere else who haven’t heard about Jesus. A lot of us have respect for such people, maybe pray for them or support them financially, but you probably don’t see this mission as your mission.
But outside of church, people talk about missions, too. In the military or law-enforcement, members are sent on all kinds of missions—search and rescue, search and recover, reconnaissance (fact-finding), seek and destroy, just to name a few.
Here’s how the dictionary defines this word “mission”.
1. assigned task: a special task given to a person or group to carry out
2. calling: an objective or task that somebody believes it is his or her duty to carry out or to which he or she attaches special importance and devotes special care
With this in mind, let me ask again: what is your mission in life? What special task(s) has God called you to carry out? What objective in life do you attach special importance? Does God give missions just to special people, or to ordinary folks? How can you discover precisely what your mission is?
That’s what I want to speak with you about this morning: God mission for your life. I want to approach the question by looking at a good example from the Bible about a specific mission God called a young girl named Mary to carry out. Her mission is not your mission, but by studying her call from God—what I want to call the Mary Mission--I believe you and I can get help for discovering and carrying out our mission. Let’s begin in Luke 1:26-28.
What if God had asked us to choose the woman for the all-important mission of being the mother of His Son? Talk about the Miss Universe contest!
Well, we’d first have to be sure she was somebody special, with good looks, and a good head on her shoulders. We’d certainly want to do a background check to find out if she is the right sort of person for such an important assignment. She’d be a mature adult, of course.
But God has a very different standard for His choice.
1 Co 1:27-28 27But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28and the base [lowly] things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are,
In other words, God chooses ordinary people for His important missions—people like Mary.
6 months after Elizabeth, Zacharias’s wife becomes pregnant with John the Baptist, God sends Gabriel back to earth, this time to Nazareth, a small town in lower Galilee. The people of Nazareth did not enjoy a very good reputation, which prompted one person in the Bible to ask:
Jn 1:46 …Can anything good come out of Nazareth?...
The expected answer is no. Nazareth doesn’t seem an ideal spot to find someone to carry out an important mission for God. But the tale takes another twist as Luke reveals more: this person is a woman, a virgin, betrothed to another citizen of Nazareth. Luke is telling us two things about this woman.
First, she is young. Almost all Jewish girls in those days were in their teens when they married, though their husbands were usually older. Mary was probably a teenager, between the ages of 16-18. So much for God calling only the experienced for His mission.
Secondly, she is a virgin. That’s not too odd, unless you remember this mission calls for a woman to become pregnant before she is married. You’d think God would wait until after the “I-dos” to call a young woman to this mission.
This girl doesn’t have lot going for her, does she? Yet Gabriel addresses her almost as royalty. Rejoice, favored lady! The Lord is with you! He has blessed you above all other women! You have been chosen by God for an important mission!
Why did God choose Mary for this mission? I’m not sure the Bible ever fully answers that question. What we do know is that He didn’t choose her because of where she was from, or because of her age, or because she somehow passed the “mother of God” exam. She was just an ordinary young girl from the wrong side of the tracks who never expected such an honor to come to her. God’s choice of Mary teaches us a very important fact about how God chooses people for His mission in their lives: Your mission doesn’t depend on where you come from, or how old or young you are, or what you’re going through right now. In fact, Mary teaches us that God chooses ordinary people for His most important missions.