Luke 1:31-33 (NLT)
You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!
The bar is set pretty high for this kid, isn’t it? Most of us hope for children with all their fingers and toes. We have dreams for our children that usually include college, good jobs, beautiful families, and happiness. In a few short words, Gabriel sets out a plan that is beyond anyone’s wildest imagination.
Mary’s head must be spinning: Favored? A son? Most High? A Throne? Kingdom never ending? Without a doubt, this is the most unusual birth announcement in history!
But it gives us a wonderful glimpse into the powerful plans of God. This is not going to be any normal birth; any normal child. This baby will change the world. This infant will become royalty. He will rule and that rule is without end. It is a fabulous pronouncement. In fact, it seems too good to be true. After all, there are more than a few sticking points.
As we’ve discussed before, Mary isn’t exactly royalty. Remember? Little girl. Little town. Little hope of any of this coming true. And while Joseph is in the line of David, he isn’t exactly being groomed to take the throne himself. Remember? Rough hands. Wood chips on his workshop floor. A chisel in his hand instead of a septer. These lofty words from the angel are nothing more than nonsense given the obvious-to-everyone-else context in which they are declared.
But there’s learning in the story. There is a message in the announcement. We often hear God’s desire for our lives and rather than receive, we create a list of all the reasons why it isn’t possible. We are handed the desires of our heart and quickly hand them back because we have no confidence. We continually reduce the promises of God to the lowest common denominator: the level of our own understanding.
We place limits. We create restrictions. We form barriers. We fail to see the possible. The Christmas Story is all about the outrageous. From the opening curtain of this amazing drama to the final bow, the impossible is made possible. The unlikely is made likely. The unreal is made real.
It’s as true in our own lives as in this proclamation by an Angel to a little girl in a little village in a forgotten part of the Roman world: The Kingdom of Jesus will have no end. Why would we ever doubt?
Dearest Lord Jesus,
How thankful we are that your Kingdom will never end!
How thankful we are that God is a God of promises.
Teach us this day to trust in the promise and to hold fast to the assurances you provide in every area of our lives.
May the impossible be made possible in our lives today.