Sunday, December 11, 2011

God is Faithful

Mary’s Song
46 And Mary said:

“My soul glorifies the Lord
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”

Luke 1:46-55

In my personal devotions, I just finished rereading the later part of Genesis, looking at the lives of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Jacob's sons. It's so interesting to read the original promises which God made and then continually deepened and renewed with these men, and to see their responses. No, they weren't perfect, and yes, there were occasions where their trust faltered; yet, these men and their families took seriously the covenant with God. I'll admit that my first instinct when I read these familiar stories is to wonder "why"?

I mean, God makes some pretty radical promises--Abraham's descendants becoming a great nation? Like Sarah, my gut reaction is disbelief and laughter.

Really think about the situation, though... we're disconnected somewhat as readers thousands of years later, but if you put yourself in Abraham's shoes, you realize that it's GOD making these promises. The creator of the world making a personal promise. It's a pretty big deal, and obviously Abraham knew enough to listen up. Though that response of faith faded during Israel's tumultuous history, in this passage from Luke, we see a very similar response in Mary's song.

Mary understands that her pregnancy is part of a much larger plan, and makes a connection to promises that must have seemed so distant and ancient. God is faithful to His promises. Abraham understood. Though she lived 2000 years later, Mary understood, too. We, who live 2000 years later still may feel that the passage of time nullifies promises, yet we forget that God exists outside of time and that His plans are so much bigger than our chronologically-bound minds could ever begin to fathom.
I pray that we, too, may share in the understanding, faith and joy in the assurance of God's promises.


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