In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, questions often arise about the historical accuracy of Jesus’ birth on December 25th. While scholars debate the specifics, a recently shared sermon, “How Odd of God To Pick A Nobody From Nowhere,” delves into the heart of the Christmas narrative, focusing on the extraordinary calling of Mary.
The sermon draws inspiration from Luke 1:26-38, where the angel Gabriel appears to Mary, a young girl from Nazareth. What unfolds is a narrative that challenges our conventional expectations of how God works in the world. Dr. Rob White guides us through the scripture, emphasizing the unexpected nature of God’s choices.
The congregation is reminded that God’s way of choosing is often peculiar. The sermon references historical context, debunking the December 25th birthdate and highlighting the impracticalities of the journey Mary and Joseph would have had to make during the winter months. This sets the stage for a deeper exploration of why God chose Mary – an ordinary, young girl from an obscure town.
The congregation is encouraged to imagine the scene, to place themselves in Mary’s shoes. Mary, likely in her teens, engaged to Joseph in an arranged marriage, is far from the idealized image we might expect. The sermon paints a vivid picture of the societal norms of the time, emphasizing Mary’s youth, her lack of social standing, and the patriarchal structure of her world.
Despite all odds, Mary becomes the chosen vessel for God’s extraordinary plan. Drawing parallels to other biblical figures like David and Gideon, the sermon underscores that God often works through the unlikely and the ordinary. The emphasis is not on Mary’s qualifications but on her willingness to say, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”
The sermon finds contemporary relevance by reassuring the congregation that God loves ordinary people. It challenges the notion that worldly success equals divine favor, highlighting that God’s blessings are found in faithfulness and sacrifice, not material wealth. The narrative invites reflection on our own lives, emphasizing that responding faithfully to God’s call, no matter how small, brings about great results in God’s eyes.
As the sermon concludes, the congregation is encouraged not to despair about age, inadequacy, or lack of worldly success. Instead, they are urged to place themselves in God’s hands, trusting that, as Mary’s story demonstrates, “Everything spoken by God is possible.”
In a poignant final reflection, the sermon connects the Christmas season with the humble circumstances of Jesus’ birth. It calls for a renewed invitation for Christ to enter our hearts and lead us according to His divine plan. The blog post concludes with a powerful invitation to embrace our own calling with Mary’s humility, saying, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”