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Dec 02, 2018

Rock-A-Bye, My Dear Little Boy

Rock-A-Bye, My Dear Little Boy

Passage: Luke 1:26-45

Speaker: Pastor Chris Riedel

Series: Prepare the Way

Category: Joy

Scripture:

"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." 

"How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?" 

The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God. 

And Mary said, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord. Let it be to me according to your word." 

Devotional:

I'm one who likes to have a plan. I like to know the strategy. I like to know each step along the way. Before I commit, I'd like to see the bumps along the road, how I'm supposed to navigate those, and then be assured that it's all going to be rainbows and ice cream cones in the end. So, while I'd love to say that if I heard the voice of God, I'd answer with the assured confidence and trust that Mary does, my response might have been more along the lines of, "Um. Okay. Cool, I guess? But maybe you could expand a little bit on how I'm going to handle this turn of events, Lord?" 

This is where we can take a lesson from Mary. She does not answer a call that tells her that her life will be full of ease and comfort. She is called to something that she can't possibly fully understand. In fact, since most of us have read ahead, we know what's coming for her. While she will carry the Messiah and raise the actual Savior of the entire universe, we also know that she will eventually watch as her son is beaten, tortured and mocked. She will witness him bleed and die the most violent, humiliating of deaths. As far as I can tell, Mary does not ask for the details of the ups and downs that will come with this calling and yet she still answers with courage and conviction. 

And I think that's because although she perhaps doesn't fully know what her future holds, she absolutely knows who holds her future. And she knows Him so well that her faith overrides her fear. 

We can't possibly know all the particulars and circumstances that will happen along the journey God is asking us to take with Him. And yet, He still asks us to follow His call. Will it lead to only happiness, fulfillment and contentment? Maybe. 

But more likely, all of those good things will have to be found among the brokenness and tragedy and sadness of life. We can run and hide from those hardships or we can be like Mary. Our decision to submit to His plans will take strength and courage. The good news is that this kind of strength and courage does not come from our own abilities, but only comes from a relentless trust in the One who calls us. 

So the next time you've discerned His voice and you're sure you've heard Him call you, it will be that trust that will allow you to remember that the God of Mary is the God of all of us. In this way, you can dismiss your nagging fears and questions turning to God to say boldly, "Behold, I am a servant of the Lord. Let it be to me according to your word." 

Prayer:

Holy, powerful, God. God of Mary. God of me. You are worthy of my trust. You are worthy of my obedience. Help me to step with confidence into the calling You have on my life today. Let it be to me according to your word. 

Written by Jennifer Skinner, member of Arcola Church and a Texan (Texas Longhorn to be specific!) living in beautiful Virginia with her very patient, funny husband, and three very impatient, funny boys/ball players. She is also a blogger, The View From Behind Home Plate, who writes about finding extraordinary grace and blessings among the cleats and dirt and testosterone that fill her ordinary days.