December 23, 2018: Do You Believe?

candle with music in background

Fourth Sunday of Advent

“Do you believe?” Almost every Christian would answer yes. Yet, when the test of faith comes, very few continue to say yes; even fewer rejoice in the manifestation of the power of our heavenly Father in our lives. We have lost sight of our Lord’s way and our Lord’s thought. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, declares the LORD” (Isaiah 55:8).

The Lord’s blessings do not always look or feel like blessings. Too often, the blessing that we look for and desire to feel is that which measures up to the world’s standard. However, we are Kingdom people. So why do we limit our expectations and standards and hopes to earthly measurements, and not that which is measured in accordance to the standard unit of measurement found in the Kingdom of God?

Mary and Elizabeth were Kingdom women in their thoughts, their expectations, and their understanding. They lived in the world, but their hearts and minds were of the Kingdom of the living God.

Thus Mary’s response to the call of God upon her life should be normal for us today. Mary could have looked at her situation as a curse, not a blessing. She was an unmarried pregnant woman. The danger of being stoned to death for being pregnant and unmarried was real.

Still, Elizabeth’s words to her were, “The Lord has blessed you because you believed that he will keep his promise” (Luke 1:45 CEV). Mary responded with a song of praise and rejoicing to the Lord. In spite of what might happen to her, in spite of the hardships and uncertainties ahead, this Kingdom woman believed that the Lord would do what he said he would do. She believed that God is a God of his promises. She believed, she bore witness, she praised, and she magnified the Lord.

Do you believe?

Sanette Fleming, co-pastor, Schoeneck Moravian Church 
Nazareth, Pennsylvania