“Preparing for and Receiving Peace”
God’s Preparation: Matthew 3:1-12
In Malachi 3 we see the prophetic message that God will send “messenger who will prepare the way before me.”
This messenger’s job will be to purify like “a refiner’s fire.” John the Baptist dressed like a present-day Elijah (2 Kings 1:8) was here to give credence to the idea that God was about to deliver the “great and dreadful day” (Malachi 4:5) and his job was to “turn hearts” in order to avoid the coming of “total destruction” (Malachi 4:6).
Which takes us to Luke 1:26-38 – Our Preparing For Peace
- Mary acknowledged she was God’s servant (v. 38a).
- Mary affirmed that God’s plan is best (v. 38b).
- Mary accepted being alone (v. 38c).
Our Response: Receiving Peace
Like Mary, we can ask “How can this be?” questions:
- How can God call me to himself? I’ve done so much wrong!
- How can God call me to ministry? That’s not in my five year plan!
- How can God call me to generosity? That doesn’t fit my budget!
- How can God call us to marital faithfulness and abstinence before marriage—that doesn’t fit in the world!
Sigmund Freud called shooting the messenger a way of “fending off what is distressing or unbearable.”
Mary may not have been able to “shoot” the angel—a being too majestic and powerful to succumb to her distress. But she could have said, “No.”
Reflection Questions: To help us live in the Peace of His Kingdom!
- To what are you tempted to ask, ‘How can this be?” that the Lord may be saying to you?
- What fellow Christians do you need to seek out to keep from being alone any longer?
- Where are, you following your own life’s plan rather than the Lord’s?
- In what areas of life are you experiencing distress or fear? What might these experiences say about your heart towards the Lord?
So How do we Receive peace? Isaiah 11:1-10
- The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him - the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord - and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.” (v. 2-3)
But this is Advent. Our directive here is to wait.
But not simply to wait, to anticipate! To expect. To look forward.
We anticipate the Peaceable Kingdom by preparing for and receiving His peace!