Saturday, August 22, 2015

"Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” — Luke 1: 38

The verse above has always been for me the most poignant, powerful, and intensely meaningful perhaps in the whole Bible.  I am one of those who believe that this teenage girl knew exactly what was being asked of her and what lay ahead, the joy, the pain, the sacrifice, and the work of a lifetime.  Perhaps no place have I seen it better illustrated as in the version by Ceelo Green used with clips from “The Bible” that I have used as an evangelism tool here in Tanzania.  I put this (you can see and hear it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1DZA_TdBBI) on an iPad and carried it to villages without any translation from the English, and it astonished, awed, and brought several people to Christ—just from watching this four-minute video.  The people who knew the story had only read it and never seen it as if it was being lived.  These people laughed, cried, clapped their hands, and praised God.  The ones who had never known Christ wanted to see it over and over and have it explained.  I didn’t have to explain anything, the families that watched it knew the story by heart and did all the explaining that was needed and they also wanted to see it again.  I had to start and stop it several times as they explained what was happening.  But what has always astounded, astonished, awed, and humbled me was Mary’s response.  I have always prayed that I could respond with that same sincerity and faith whenever I was called.  For me, it is the ultimate test of faith.  Can you say, as Mary did, that you, as a servant of God, will do whatever God wills you to do?  Many believe that Mary didn’t know what was going to happen or the significance of who and what her child was going to be.  I believe that her answer to Ceelo’s sung question was “Yes.”  She did know, and she gave herself completely to God as a servant of His will.  Wow!  I urge you to watch and listen to this (full screen) and to download it and watch it over and over again.  My son, John, put it on my iPad the first time when I went in for prostate surgery that was a week of pure hell and pain for me.  I watched and listened to that four minutes over and over and over.  It got me through and gave me the answer to my question of “Why am I suffering so?” that I kept asking God.  May all of us who call ourselves Christians have the faith, wisdom, discernment, and courage to answer as Mary did.  Now that was powerful. 
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