When I was in school, I used to dread when it came time to pick teams in gym class. It wasn't that I was bad at sports or even that it was a fear of being picked last. It was simply just the anxiety of when, and which team captain would choose me. There were the other classes that the teacher would start calling on students to answer questions. I avoided eye contact and tried to look distracted so that the teacher would not call on me. (I never figured out that behavior actually made them call on me!) The last thing I wanted in either of those times was to be chosen.
In the beginning of Luke we learn of an angel named Gabriel, who was to deliver a message to a young woman by the name of Mary. The message was one of great importance. One that would change her life forever. It was a message that would fulfill Old Testament prophecies. It, however, was also a message that would bring suffering and heartache. The message? "Rejoice! Mary, you are chosen!"
God chose Mary, and Joseph, to be the earthly parents of Jesus. By grace, He chose them! With amazement in her heart, she quietly expresses her humble obedience. What an amazing responsibility and privilege.
In submitting to God's plan for her life, Mary chose to magnify God. Likewise, Jesus magnifies His Father through His obedient life. The prophets told of His coming hundreds of years before His birth. God was working out His plan to bring His people back to Himself. The good news that Jesus was coming to the world was good because of WHY He was coming."He will save His people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21)
The announcement of Jesus birth is not the beginning of the gospel; God has been planning this moment since before the beginning of time!
Talk with you kids this week about why Jesus was born and what it must have felt like to be chosen, like Mary. Share with them has God has chosen them to magnify the Lord also.
I may have "suffered" through when and who would choose me in gym class, but we never need doubt that the Lord our Father, has chosen us!
*Next week: Jesus is born!