18. Enormity

Short Meds in Getting Ready in Covid-Advent: 18. Enormity

Lk 1:31,32 you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.”

We move on in our Advent considerations to seeing the description of her son that Gabriel gives her. Jesus or Jeshua means deliverer. OK. “He will be great”? We considered greatness in respect of John the Baptist in study number 10. “Son of the Most High”? Clearly one with a close relationship with God. That’s good. Now we’ll see something more of this in verse 35 but for now I want to make a particular point.

It is interesting the Mary doesn’t question this (we’ll see her one question tomorrow) and one has to suggest that she really can’t take in the significance of the enormity of what she is being told about her son. It is easy for us with hindsight but for her, thinking until now in only very human terms, these descriptions must be … absolutely mind-blowing? I’m not sure.

I’m not sure if she really took it all in. Later on we read, But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart,” (Lk 2:19) and later on when Jesus was twelve, following the incident of him staying in the temple, we read of his parents, they did not understand what he was saying to them….. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart.” (Lk 2:50,51) It is clear that Mary struggled, like us, with the reality of the wonder of these words.

But isn’t it so often like that in the Christian life: we read things or hear things preached and initially we hardly take them in, certainly the long-term significance of them? Eph 1:18,19 is the classic example of words, which, if we truly took them in, would utterly transform us. Have we ever realized this, that in our Christian learning experience, as new believers (but it carries on!) we hear the words but only take them in at a very surface level. This is why we encourage meditation, encourage slowly reading and taking in what is there in The Book. The truth is that year by year we approach Christmas, mostly going with the flow and focusing on getting the presents, getting food in, putting up decorations, and so on. Yes, as believers, we spend some time no doubt reading the accounts but I wonder how often these verses we have been focusing upon really impact us deeply, so deeply that worship pours out of us. It is more likely that we will be like Mary (and this is not bad, just real and normal) and hardly have time to take it all in. Mary pondered these things, we read, and we too need to ponder on them so that they will be translated from simply words into reality inducing worship. Pray and be open to the truth that is coming.

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