The call narrative

December 23, 2008

Passage:  Luke 1:26-38

So it turns out that the 2nd week at a new church is better than the first.  I just needed to get over myself and let the initial shock to the system wear off.  

Anyway, the preacher preached a fascinating sermon on the conversation between the angel Gabriel and Mary.  It follows the “template” in the Bible known as the “call narrative” and contains 5 key components – a divine confrontation; a commissioning; objections; assurance and lastly a sign.

A couple of interesting points:

  1. v29 – I chuckled to myself when I read this verse about Mary being “troubled” and wondering “what manner of greeting this was”.  I can definitely identify with the alarm at hearing the voice of God – in whatever shape or form it presents itself.  Sometimes, you really rather not know.
  2. v28, 30 – The idea that finding favour with God means that God is with you.  Seems to me to be a bit of a circular argument – God is with you beccause you are favoured?  You are favoured because God is with you?  And yet, the self-reinforcing logic loop is oddly comforting.
  3. v38 – Extremely interesting that Mary agrees to the cosmic plan before she goes and checks out the validity of the “sign”.  Even more interesting that she agrees after the angel tells her the brilliant plan, which frankly sounds like a really shit deal for her.

I guess for me, beyond the interesting points from the passage, my key takeaway was the reaffirmation of God’s call in my life.  I marvelled at how similar the pattern was to the Biblical call narratives of old – even down to the vehement protesting (ahem).  Remembering your calling when you are no longer doing what you thought you were called to do is slightly troublesome though.  But as with many of God’s promises in my life, I have a sneaking suspicion that they are far larger than I had earlier envisioned.  Uh oh.

Here I am.  Send me.  5 little words.  Very very scary.

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