Will Jesus find a place?

How do we respond to the Lord’s message to us? Sometimes it is so different from what we expect we are left reeling. Consider Mary,

Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean.  

Luke 1:29

Mary’s reaction was not, “Wow! an angel”, but confusion, the message was not what she believed about herself, It was harder to believe than being visited by an angel. The words were-

 “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!”

Luke 1:28

Maybe Mary saw herself as despised and far from the Lord. Her song reinforces this,

“For he took notice of his lowly servant girl.”

Luke 1:48

I sense a Cinderella story. It seems there are times when the Lord puts us in challenging situations that beat us down; yet with purpose. Jesus was later to say,

“Blessed are the poor in Spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven”

Matthew 5:3

When the Lord comes to us with the gift of his presence, what does he find? Is he received by insecurity that puffs itself up so there is no space for him? Or will he find the humility of Mary? One who had embraced her lowly place so she was able to receive Jesus into her poverty.

Picture from  Good News Productions International and College Press Publishing.

Numbers

We place our self-esteem on achieving numbers in what our culture values. The Lord reassures us that His affection does not lie there. Do I have faith to believe Him?

The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples.  Deuteronomy 7:7

Our drive for numbers has many motivations – Large numbers bring the esteem of peers; large numbers ensure the continuation of what is precious; large numbers bring resources for its development. These are statements of distrust. I imply the Lord is not sufficient to guard my reputation, to continue His work, to provide resources for its development.

So where does security lie? Deuteronomy continues–

… but it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt.  Deuteronomy 7:8.

The Lord’s affection does not rest on what we do but who we are – He loves us! Am I willing to accept His affection on His terms?

In His affection he redeems us from a slavery driven by insecurity and a desire to measure up to the values of those we esteem. Ultimately, redemption came through Jesus’ death on a cross. We live in that freedom when we allow Christ to confront us with our driven behaviour and challenge us to die to it.