‘Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. It’s like a man going away: he leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.’ (vv33–34) Mark 13:32–37
The incarnation, the event that we celebrate each Christmas, was a surprise to all but God. Mary was invited by an angel to give herself to God in the divine conception of Jesus. She had no foreknowledge, and enjoyed little time to decide if to agree or not.
With God, history can radically change direction in a moment. Our human instinct is to procrastinate, to sit on the fence, and weigh up pros and cons ahead of any decision.
God seeks to move a little faster than that. Did God know Mary would say yes? In one way He did, because God is omniscient. Yet, equally, each of us is given free will to decide for ourselves the degree to which we pursue God (Gen. 2:15-17).
The danger is that we are lulled into a false security that one day will follow the next as surely as the sun rises each morning. However, God is Lord of all and has the authority to order things to direct humanity’s attention to His purpose in history.
The Old Testament provides a record that God’s patience eventually reaches an end, when His chosen refuse to follow His directions and realise ‘the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living’ (Psa. 27:13–14).
We are pilgrims here on earth (Heb. 11:13), and must be alert for we are in a foreign country, conscious that we are here to represent God and not live for personal achievements.
SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: Psa. 39:7–13; Jer. 50:4–7; Phil. 3:7–21; Heb. 11:8–19.
AN ACTION TO TAKE: In the routine of life, are you aware of times when you felt God asked something of you but you chose to dismiss it? Revisit such moments and ask God to speak as the angel spoke to Mary.
A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, may I live a life worthy of You and please You in everyway: bearing fruit in every good work whilst growing in the knowledge of God. Amen.’ (from Col. 1:10)
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