We have started a new book in Sunday school, and "new book" might be a little misleading, it's actually the Bible, the New Testament, but presented in a little different way. It has no chapters, no verse markings, no references, just the words. I really like it.
It also presents the books in a little different order than your standard Bible. If you are interested in reading more about it follow this link to Amazon, click on the picture of the book and it opens up the foreward that tells you about why they presented it this way.
So, my intent is to post at least once a week about something that stands out to me in my reading. I've done a good bit of Bible reading, and this format really throws me for a loop. It's so odd not to have the chapters and verses, but it also makes things flow more.
So last week was the first week and our reading was Luke. This is the part that got me day one... Mary is approached by the angel and told that she will be having a baby, the Son of God. Can you imagine? I mean, let's pretend you are a little virgin Jewish girl, and you've heard about this Messiah who is supposed to return one day, but your people really haven't heard much from God for about 400 years, and all the sudden an angel comes to you and tells you that you will be the conduit for this Messiah to come to Earth. Wow. That's a lot to take in. But once he explains everything to her and givers her instruction, what does she say... "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May your word to me be fulfulled."
This brings a few thoughts to my mind, I'll try to keep them as brief and with as little rambling as possible.
#1 - What does age do to us? Based on what was customary for the day, things I've read and some preachers I've heard say Mary was probably around 14-16 when these events took place. We see Mary's reaction. How does that contrast with Sarah, who was also promised a child, but lost patience, and turned her handmaiden over to Abraham to have a child instead of waiting for God's plan to reveal itself. And what about Zechariah who lost his ability to speak because he didn't believe when the angel told him he and Elizabeth would have a child. Does experience make us wiser or more cynical. Do we still leave room in our mind for miracles as we get older? Do we leave room for God to work his plan and to use us as He sees fit? I want to be like Mary, I want to accept what I'm told the first time around.
#2 - Servant attitude - Wow, what servant Mary was. I'm so selfish with my time. I'm single, live by myself, and for the most part, control my own time. I spend a lot of it for me. Part of me can't imagine a husband and kids because then someone else dictates my life. What I need to put in perspective is that I need someone to dicatate my life, God. I need to be living as the "Lord's servant". I do sometimes, some things, but not the majority of the time. As we were asked yesterday at church, if you were put on trial for being a Christian, is there enough evidence in your life (or in the past week) to convict you?
I'll leave it there, let me know if you have any thoughts to add!