Bible Reading: Luke 1:28-38
a) A Call for indulgence
There is great joy in true discipleship.
2. A call to conform
There is great pressure on people to blend in with what everyone else is doing. We can feel the need to conform because we fear that others will think we are too full of ourselves if we say we are going to respond to the call of God to act differently but there also may genuinely be a reserve in us that thinks that living a God-filled, holy life, is only for special people.
( 2 Corinthians 5:19-20)
There is an expectation that when people are asked to do something because it is Christmas that they will give in. We assume that failure to resist temptation is the norm. We accept weakness as inevitable and cannot be overcome.
Being realistic about our weakness and inability is far better than the hypocrisy that pretends there is no battle for us to live as we ought. When it was suggested to Mary that she would have a baby who would be called the Son of the Most high, who will be a king, she wasn’t being modest when she said, “How can this be I am a virgin.” she was being honest.
Besides the miracle that would be needed for her to get pregnant without having had sexual intercourse, there must have been the sense of her own inability to be the mother of not just any baby but a baby who was destined to rule a nation.
The gospels and the book of Acts recount how the activity of the Holy Spirit continued to increase, not only through the ministry of Jesus but also as on the Day of Pentecost the Spirit came, baptized and “rested” upon God’s people, with the promise that just as we see in the Christmas story, the Spirit would be for all people, young, old, male and female.
When we believe and respond to those challenges we will have a joy that will fill this season but will continue beyond it.
God bless you