An opportunity to reflect on the unfolding story of God

We’re talking about opportunities for commitments this year. And the second is, “reflect on the unfolding story of God.” This one comes from Mary’s response following the departure of the shepherds.

Less than a year before this story, Mary had been a young woman living a faithful life. Faithful to God, faithful to her promise to Joseph. (They were engaged. )

Less than a year before.

And then an angel appears and then she’s pregnant. Then she goes to Elizabeth who is really old and she’s pregnant. Then Joseph has a vision and they get married as planned, but not with the celebration they had anticipated. And then they relocate to Bethlehem. And she has a baby and shepherds come talking about angels.

It’s been a year.

And in the same way that the shepherds go outward, with their small bit of a story, a one evening event they observed, Mary goes inward, with a story she’s in the middle of.

Her life has changed and she takes time to reflect, to ponder, to process, to internalize. This isn’t the life she planned. But it’s the life God’s given her. And she wants to own it.

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What if this year we spent some time pondering. Instead of worrying, instead of distracting ourselves, pondering what God seems to be doing.

You look at two or three turning points in your life and you think about them, you look for God in them, you ask him what he wants you to learn from them.

A year ago, I didn’t know I would be doing what I’m doing. Nancy and I would not have imagined a number of changes in our lives. So recently, while we were traveling, we spent a little time pondering, thinking together about how God’s story has been unfolding in surprising ways.

Luke mentions that Mary did this kind of reflection more than once. I need to do it more. Maybe you do as well.

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The Sermon on the Mount helps us understand how Jesus invites us to live. Read more in my Kindle book Learning a New Routine.

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.

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