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Mary believed

Almost 4 years ago I realized that I was trying to be the best at everything.  The best follower of Jesus, the best husband, father, friend, director of non-profit ministry.  Taking 5 months to slowly go through the 4 Gospels helped me to see that I was missing the big picture.  The goal is not to become the best ________ (fill in the blank).  The goal is to believe that God can do this, whatever the “this” is that I am facing this week, this day, this hour.

The day I began my trek through the Gospels I ran across Ps 37.  “Trust in the LORD and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.” (v.3)  With this commitment to read the Gospels and journal each time I came across the themes of faith, belief and unbelief, I realized that I was setting out to cultivate faithfulness.  Unfortunately, it is not an overnight process.  I’m 3 and half yrs in and just scratching the surface of what it means to truly believe.

I started my reading in Luke and two themes stood out: Mary’s belief and the Holy Spirit.  There are a few very matter of fact statements about the Spirit:  “he (John) will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth. (v 15) The Holy Spirit will come upon you (Mary). (v 35)  for that reason (b/c of the Holy Spirit) the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.” (v 35)  Right out of the gate I was faced with the question: Do I believe in the power and activity of the Holy Spirit?  For most of my life I viewed the Holy Spirit as the “silent partner”, not as an active participant.  We tend to think as the Holy Spirit at Pentecost after Jesus’ death, not before the birth of Jesus.  Mary wasn’t buying that line of thinking, not for an instant.  “And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.” (v 45)  Mary believed, do we?

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