The wisdom of Jesus is inspirational, astounding, extraordinary, timeless.
All of God's greatest blessings await on the other side of surrender. Welcome to Radical and Relevant. The wisdom of Jesus is enduring. In today's scriptures, from the first chapter of Luke's Gospel, we hear once again about the angel Gabriel appearing to Mary and witness Mary's immediate and complete surrender to the will of God. "In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, 'Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you.' But she was greatly troubled at the saying and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son.
And you shall call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David. And he will reign over the house of Jacob forever. And of his kingdom, there will be no end.' And Mary said to the angel, 'How can this be since I have no husband?' And the angel said to her, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the child will be born will be called Holy, the Son of God. And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth, in her old age, has also conceived a son. And this is the sixth month with her who has been called barren. For with God, nothing will be impossible.' And Mary said, 'Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord that it be done to me according to your word.' And the angel departed from her.'"
You're not dreaming. You're not losing your mind. We definitely did. We had this same reading 10 days ago on the second Sunday of Advent. This reading appears twice during Advent this year. But that gives us a chance to test the idea that there are always new layers of insight and meaning to peel back from each and every single one of these passages. The word of the day, greatness. Our culture is so confused about what greatness is. There're so many self-appointed kings of non-existent kingdoms in our world today. The fakes are easy to spot. But what is it that demonstrates true greatness? The world defines greatness as the quality of people great in size, skill, achievement, or power. But God defines greatness very differently. God defines greatness as placing others before ourselves and serving all those who God sends into our lives. So how great are you?
The phrase of the day, "According to Your Word." Mary's total surrender to God's will is confronting. We can be so stingy and slow to act when it comes to doing what we know God is calling us to do. But Mary's surrender is complete and immediate. The idea of the day? Availability. Mary makes herself 100% available to God. Throughout history, God has always worked very powerfully through people who made themselves completely available to Him. How available to God are you today? 50%? 80%? 96.4%? And why're you holding back? Do you understand how insane that is? Do you understand how insane it is to hold yourself back from God? But here is the crux. What would have to be true for you to make yourself 100% available to God? What would have to be true for you to make yourself 100% available to God? The gospel of Jesus Christ is as radical and relevant today as ever before. Go out into the world today and astonish people by making yourself radically available to God. And remember, don't just be yourself, be the very best version of yourself, all that God created you to be.
Thank you, Ambassadors. You are changing the world. Have a great day. Bye-bye. Simon, come sit. I love you.
Have a great day!