Tuesday, December 23, 2008

WALKING BUDDIES: Part 24 - Believing the Unbelievable - December 20, 2008

How will this be, since I am a virgin?"
Luke 1:34

"Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."

Say what? Who said that?

“Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.”

Um, you have the wrong girl. And you’re creeping me out!

“You will be with child and give birth to a son…”

Hey, I’m still in high school—there’s no way I’m getting prego. Turn off that flashlight—you’re blinding me!

“…and you are to give him the name Jesus.”

If and when I do get pregnant, my boyfriend, Joe, and I will choose a name.

“He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.”

Just who do you think you are—a prophet? An angel? I’ve caught a few ‘Touched by an Angel” episodes, and, trust me, you’re no more angelic than I am ‘with child,’ as you so delicately put it.

“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.”

You’re talking crazy talk, but, just for the fun of it, I’ll play along. So, this small town, blue collar, Jewish son of mine is going to become some sort of bigwig in the Roman Empire—like Joseph was in the Egyptian Empire under Pharaoh?

"The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.”

You’re going to have to explain this overshadowing stuff to my Joe—and my folks. I’ll be grounded for life!

“So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.”

Surely I heard you wrong. Next thing you’ll be telling me this kid is going to be the Messiah…

I have raised a teenage girl and I work with teenagers in my job as a therapist, thus my gut suggests that there was more to the conversation between Mary and the angel Gabriel than what is recorded in the Gospel. After all, both Abraham and Sarah laughed when a visitor foretold that barren Sarah would have a child. (Genesis 17:17 and 18:12) And Zachariah, father of John the Baptist, doubted the angel Gabriel’s announcement that his barren wife Elizabeth would bear a son. (Luke 1:1-23) So wouldn’t a virginal teenage girl be skeptical?

What teen (or adult) today would believe that they were impregnated by the Holy Spirit? (Although I have met a few young women who claim no knowledge of how they got pregnant!) Luke chose, not to focus on skepticism, but to shine a beacon on Mary’s faith—a childlike faith that led her to believe the unbelievable:

“Behold the handmaid of the Lord;
be it unto me according to thy word.”
(Luke 1:38 KJV)

How is God working the unbelievable in your life?

The Holy Spirit overshadows you and your life is pregnant with possibility.

“With God all things are possible.” (Jesus)
Matthew 19:26 NIV

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