Foundations Built On Hope
I am the Lord’s servant, may your word to me be fulfilled.
This summer I started the process of building a house. Toward the beginning of this process I sat down with the builders and they laid out some mile markers for me. They showed me the plot of land my house would be built on. They talked about when the foundation would be poured and how the build specific ways to accommodate the weather and land. They even spent time nailing down the small details: trim size, tile colors, electrical outlets, water hoses, the works. But one of most important things we talked about in this meeting was a timeline. Seven months. Between the day I knew I would have a house and the day the house became my home I would wait 7 months. Short in the grand scheme of time but SO LONG for my very ready self.
It was in June that I made these decisions and had these meetings. Between June and now, more times than I want to disclose I would drive by the lot that I knew my house would sit on. I would get out and walk around (once I stole a giant rock as a memento) and I would just imagine all the home-y things that would eventually happen here. The people that would fill the space. The conversation that would echo through the walls. The muddy floors. The smell of cleaning on Saturday mornings. The meals that would be shared… At times I was so excited for what was to come that it felt like it was already reality: hope.
I can only imagine the scale on which Mary, the mother of Jesus, was feeling this as she sat and listened to an angel say to her, “The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you” (Luke1:28). The angel would go on to explain that Mary would not just be with the Lord but she would bear him as her child. Her response was more eloquent but I will tell you how I would have responded to the angel, “I know this might work different for angels but for us humans there is a specific process for something like that to happen, Gabriel, and uh, I have not done that thing.” And while she understandably had some questions, I am honestly caught off guard by her final word with the angel.
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.”
– Luke 1:38
Amen. I pray, in the same way, our response to God would reflect Mary’s heart. She was submitted to God as the Master of her life – completely trusting in the reality that every word God speaks is fulfilled. What a beautifully simple response from the virgin mother of Jesus; it was plain, simple, obedient. She may not have understood the details of what she was being told but she did understand who she was talking too.
This response speaks to her understanding of faith, which is consistent with Scripture,
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
– Hebrews 11:1
Mary doesn’t hope in these things to come to fruition because she has other friends who are virgins who have experienced the same thing. She doesn’t have hope because of some ridiculous notion that she will be able to accomplish what the angel has told her. Because we don’t hope for things we already have. What is beautiful is that her faith and hope in her God was evident. When she goes to visit Elizabeth it is obvious her demeanor, “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” Luke 1:45
All of this to say, have hope. Take courage. Trust that God is who he says he is and you are who He says you are. You have a different indwelling than Mary had, Jesus says it’s better, the Holy Spirit. You have the fullness of Christ. Not beside you, not on the sidelines, but within you. The Lord of Lords and King of Kings has chosen to make his dwelling place within you, not just for 9 months…forever.
Accept the truth. Receive the adoption that God has so willingly and expensively gifted you through the Holy Spirit and respond with the words that the mother of Jesus responded with:
“I am the Lord’s servant, may your word to me be fulfilled.”