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I'm Pregnant

22 December, 2002 7:45 PM

Its true - and you are pregnant too!!!! We all are!

In preparation for preaching tonight I found myself reading Luke 1:26-38 - Mary is confronted with an angel bringing the news of her pregnancy with Jesus. Quite the day for young Mary, not only does she meet an angel, but she finds out that she's pregnant with God's baby! What pressure!

As I read the story I felt that the message God gave Mary through the angel is the same message that he was giving me and my congregation for today. We are pregnant with Jesus. God has placed something of himself in each of us. We were knitted together in his image - his fingerprints are all over us. Many of us are able to lable the seed he's put in us as a 'relationship with Jesus' or 'faith' or even 'spirituality'. Others perhaps can't name it, but may have inklings about it. When we look at a sunset, or watch the waves crash in at the beach, or perhaps even as we gaze into the heaven or eyes of a new born. We may not have the language to describe our feeling, but we just 'know' that God is present with us.

So there is something of God within us, something of Jesus. We are pregnant in a sense with him. I believe that what he's put in us is designed to grow. As a baby does so too does faith. Babies needs nurturing, food, care and protection - as does our faith. This Christmas we need to allow our 'pregnancy' to progress, to feed our faith (and not just our stomachs), to build it up and to take time from the busyness of this season to connect with our maker.

But Mary didn't just stop at being pregnant. 9 months later she gave birth to Jesus. In a very physical way she birthed the one that had been growing within her. She introduced him into her culture, her context. She brought him into the relationships that she had. She showed the world to him and showed him to the world. In a sense Mary was the first missionary, presenting Jesus to her context.

I got the sense as I prayed this week that we too are called not only to nurture our 'pregnancy', our relationship with Jesus - but also to give birth to it in a sense. To not just leave faith as an insular me and God thing, but to introduce him to our world - to release him in our context.

Our world needs people like Mary right now. Turn on the news at night and you'll see it on a global level. We need people willing to 'give birth to Jesus' as we face issues of war, terror and conflict. But it is also needed on a very individual and local level too. You'll see it if you look carefully. When you walk through your neighborhood or watch and talk to your neighbors. The people around us need people like Mary who are willing to 'give birth to Jesus' in their own local context.

Our world doesnt need people to shove Jesus down throats, to bible bash - rather it needs people to 'birth' him through living lives like the one he set as a model. It needs people willing to have relationships like the ones he had. It needs people willing to speak the message that he brought, to touch the people he touched and to stand up to injustices that he stood up against. In this way, in our own contexts we have the opportunity to 'give birth' to Jesus every day. In this way we begin to fulfill the call for us to be 'his body' and in the process take steps towards meeting some of the incredible needs of this world.

I'm told the birthing process is a painful experience. I have no doubt it is on a physical level (I belive you mum!) but it can also be painful to 'birth Jesus' in our context. Its often not easy.

But the birthing process is also one that brings 'LIFE' - to a child, to its parents and to the friends and family around them. This is true for when people 'birth Jesus' also. Life will result - people (including us) reach our potential and discover what living is all about.

This Christmas lets nurture our 'pregnancy'. Lets strengthen the faith that grows within us. But lets also be willing to birth it - to release the faith that we have - to impact the world we live in.

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