Icebreaker: Could you introduce yourself in 10 seconds? (Take a clock a let’s go).
Text: Luke 1:26-38
During the Second World War, Queen Elizabeth (who was then a princess) said: “I am a princess, this is not what I do, but who I am. There is no holiday or time off, I am a princess because of the people and for the people”. What a powerful statement to make! It’s so nice to hear, especially when it comes from a princess who would one day be Queen. It shows that beyond her title, beyond the situation she was facing, and despite the social pressure of that time, she was someone who was coherent and who understood who she really was. Princess Elizabeth served in WWII, and was trained in London as a mechanic and military truck driver at a time when other heads of state in Europe fled to places of safety.
People who’ve left an impact on the world understood that they were in the world, but understood too that they were not part of the world. They were Christians and that was, and is, enough. They weren’t Christians only on Sundays or religious holidays, but lived out their faith in their character and their identity – living as sons and daughters of God.
We need to stop with this plague of separating our lives into compartments where we say ‘Now I am Christian’, then ‘Now I am lay person’ then ‘Now I am only a student’, or ‘Now I am working.’ You are one person under God’s guidance, and that’s it. So be it.
If we read the text of Luke again, we will be able to see that Mary said ‘YES’ to God’s plans, but she didn’t say it because everything was perfect and it would be a dream come true for this to happen to her, but rather, because as God’s child she understood that God’s plans are always what’s best for us.
Let’s see what she went through, so that we can learn how we can react, in God’s way, when we face the future that is ahead of us:
1) She didn’t say YES because it would be easy.
Look at what the text says about her first reaction to the angel
- Troubled (with what the angel was saying – she was trying to discern).
- Do not be afraid (the angel said) - probably she was afraid or else the angel wouldn’t have said it.
- By the way, you are pregnant, and you will name the baby ‘Jesus’ (the angel said).
Mary said, ‘Yes’, despite knowing that:
- according to the law, young women who were legally engaged but found to be pregnant by someone other than their betrothed were to be stoned to death. (See Deuteronomy 22.23-24)
- She said ‘YES’ despite knowing that many women died in childbirth.
- She said, ‘YES’, despite knowing that it would mean the end of the dreams she had for her wedding day,
- She said ‘YES’, despite knowing that it would probably lead to Joseph calling off the marriage.
- She said, ‘YES’, despite knowing that she might become an unmarried mother.
She was young and unprepared but still said ‘YES’ because she understood that God’s plans would always better than her plans; God’s will may never be the easiest way but His will is always the best way.
2) Sometimes God’s plans and direction seem impossible
Look at what the Angel said to Mary: ‘Your son will reign forever, and your cousin Elizabeth, who is old and has never been able to conceive, is indeed pregnant.
God calls us to accept His will, even if seems impossible, but He will always send glimpses of miracles to transform what seems impossible into possibilities. So, keep your eyes open to see and dream with what God is doing in you and around you.
Remember the boy with 5 loaves and 2 fishes in the Bible story of John 6.9? He gave what he had to do what seemed impossible, which was to feed 5,000 people. But in that moment of decision and giving, was the seed of a great miracle.
Remember that for God nothing is impossible. Remember what he already did in your life and in the lives of those around you and let that influence your thinking and expectancy of what God can do.
3) God wants to reach all the families of the earth through you.
I know that might not sound real, but it’s true.
Evan Roberts led the Welsh Revival. He started when he was 17 years old, and at the height of the outreach of the movement he was 24 years old. The Welsh Revival won, and deeply influenced, millions of people around the world.
The Welsh Revival is important for many reasons, but I love three of them:
1. It was the first great revival that was documented on TV and in the newspapers.
2. For the first time women had a distinctive and main role in a church movement.
3. The revival reached millions, and was the catalyst that started many other revivals.
Today God is asking us not to focus on the difficulties, or on what we don’t yet have, but to look at Him. He doesn’t ignore our difficulties and problems but He wants to move us beyond them so that He can use us.
Everyone has a mission that God has planned for their life, don’t despise a small beginning because nothing is small with God – are you willing to say ‘YES’ in obedience, even if you can’t see too far ahead and you have questions about what God will do? Let’s ask God to do His work in us and through us today! Would you like that?
Conclusion: God is looking for men and women who are open to Him and to what He wants to do through them. Are you one of them? Would you like to be used in a powerful way and see things that not many people do? So be prepared to do things that no one else does as well! Let’s pray!