Last night we began the Bible study “The Journey – Walking the Road to Bethlehem”. We started with a short dvd which showed us the geographical location of Bethlehem, and in particular caves which were likely to be dwellings in the time of Mary and Joseph.
Our text was Luke 1:26-34 – the Annunciation.
Our Bible study is very much a discussion – and we end up at all sorts of places so what did I learn this week?
- God keeps his promise – he had promised a saviour for generations; the people of Israel had been looking forward, all through history for this moment.
- God uses people for his purposes – if God used Mary God can use us too.
- God found favour with Mary, and God can find favour with us. Mary didn’t do anything spectacular to find this favour – she was a believing girl. We don’t have to do anything to earn God’s favour other than believe.
- As I’ve already said, she believed – she was a woman of faith. And we can see in her song (with Elizabeth) that she was also humble.
- She was of limited understanding – she asked, how can this be? God can make sense of what doesn’t make sense to us.
- Her questions weren’t ones of disbelief (like Zachariah) but rather one of relationship – she was talking this over with God.
What is there for me to learn?
- Mary heard God and accepted the task he had for her. Do I? Do I hear God talk to me? Am I willing to be used by him? Do I respond humbly and willingly?
- I am sure Mary faced some tough stuff when she faced her community with an unusual pregnancy – but she saw God’s bigger picture and trusted him. Will I?
- Will I treasure the things God has said to me, the promises he has made, and walk through those hard things with my eyes on him, even though I may not understand it all?
God doesn’t change.
Mary lived a long time ago as someone we can have as an example.
So for me today – it is a choice.
- Will I choose to hear God? For he does still speak to his people.
- Will I choose to respond and rejoice in the circumstances he has me?
- Am I prepared to be a vessel God uses for his purposes? As Mary was.
As you read the very familiar Christmas story over the coming month can I challenge you to think deeper -think about this as God interacting with his creation, his people: God interacting with you. What is God talking to you about as you read the Christmas story.