Saturday, July 19, 2014

Distraction at the Door (Luke 8:20-21)

And His mother and brothers came to Him, and they were unable to get to Him because of the crowd. And it was reported to Him, "Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, wishing to see You." But He answered and said to them, "My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it." (Luke 8:20-21 NASB) 

And coming in, he said to her, "Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you." (Luke 1:28 NASB)

Our focus verse is from the passage in which Mary and her sons were outside, wanting Jesus to come out and see them. We pick up the story, however, at the point where Mary was first introduced. As a young girl, the angel Gabriel had appeared to Mary and greeted her with the word that she was favored and blessed by God, as well as the news that she had been chosen to be the mother of the Son of God. In the midst of this divine encounter, it is easy to forget that, although her Son would be fully human and fully divine, Mary was simply and only fully human. Just like us. 

Considering the difficult situation in which she found herself, Mary must have longed for a bit of her Son's divinity, but it was not to be. This young girl faced the most difficult task any young girl would ever face, and there was no divinity within her with which to accomplish it. Mary could not rely on herself. She was totally at the mercy of God, and totally dependent upon the grace of God, and they were sufficient. 

How, then, did she end up at the door instead of inside?  Life. Life happened. We don't know all the twists and turns her heart had taken, but more than thirty years after her meeting with the angel Gabriel, perhaps some of the glow had faded, or maybe she simply wasn't sure what to do. 

One thing is very clear from this passage. The welcome and the joy were with Jesus inside the room, not outside at the door. She was no less related to Jesus outside, but her relationship with Him suffered from the lack of proximity. The close companionship of mother and much-loved Son suffered from the distance. 

The question for us is not how she happened to be at the door, but whether we might also find some distance between us and our Lord. Are we as close to Him as we once were? Are we enjoying that loving, comfortable relationship we once had?  Perhaps we, too, find ourselves hanging back, looking in on what Jesus is doing, rather than joining in the midst of the action. 

It is important to note that Mary was welcome inside, but for companionship and relationship to be renewed, Mary was the one who needed to change location. We cannot forget that it is Jesus who is God and we who are not. It is not our place to command The Holy One, nor direct His steps. It is our job to direct our steps wherever He leads, and that requires the closeness of proximity. 

Is God at work around you?  Are you close to the action or looking in from outside?  If we want to restore the joy of our salvation and our peace with God, it is not our Lord who will need to change. It is us. Me and you. 

Today, pray that we and our loved ones will make whatever change is needed to restore the relationship we once enjoyed with our Lord. 
Link to last night's post:

Our terrorist prayer focus this week is Ibrahim al Asiri, one of the most creative and dangerous bomb makers in the world. He is sworn to destruction of believers in general and the US specifically. Pray that his terrorist efforts would be thwarted, that a miraculous conversion would occur, and that his fervor for the cause of Christ would exceed his fervor for destruction.