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  • Kerri S. Wilson

Ordinary People; Extraordinary Purpose

Luke tells the story of Mary, a common ordinary girl who found favor with God and was chosen to fulfill God's plan. She would birth the Messiah for the salvation of humanity. (I've included Luke 1:26-38 below.)

As the angel, Gabriel, spoke to Mary she was troubled by his greeting and wondered why he had come to her. After hearing what he had to say, she asked how she, a virgin, could give birth to a baby. It sounded impossible and absurd. And, from her perspective, it must have also seemed untimely since she was soon to be married. Having a baby before she was married was sure to make her life difficult. Furthermore, who would believe her baby was the Messiah? She may not have understood completely how accepting this role in God's purpose would impact her life, but it was clear doing so would cost her great sacrifice. Even so, she replied, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word."

Like Mary, we are common ordinary people whom God has favored to participate in His extraordinary plan. We, too, have been called to give Jesus to humanity. Jesus said in Mark 16:15, "Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation."

God's purpose for us may sometimes seem impossible, absurd and untimely. And we may hesitate to accept our role in His purpose because of our uncertainty of how it will affect our lives. Just like with Mary, sharing the gospel of Jesus with others may require of us great sacrifice.

God is asking me if I'm willing to continue participating in His purpose. I'm not sure exactly what the next step looks like, but, from my perspective, some of what could be part of my future journey seems impossible, absurd and untimely. Though I can't predict what answering yes will cost me, there is only one answer I can give. I must answer as Mary answered: "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word."

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!" But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." And Mary said to the angel, "How will this be, since I am a virgin?" And the angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God." And Mary said, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:26-38, ESV).

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