Pastor Joynt's Devotionals

in Advent

Advent Week 3: The Way of Surprise, Day 5

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LUKE 1:38-56

God will surprise us, as he did Mary. Will we share her ability to be surprised, and to respond with obedience? Hear Mary's famous words, "Here I am, the servant of the Lord, let it be with me according to your word." These words became actions. She trusted the new truth about Elizabeth and traveled to receive her friendship and support, allowing God to reorder her relationships in the light of his plan. Further, Mary moved from shock and surprise to deliberate centeredness. Her song, in verses 46-55, is a way of putting God's surprising truth about her coming child at the very center of her thinking. She reinterprets her life in tenus of God's favor and future acclaim. She ruminates on the social significance of God's action, insisting that not only her life but everyone's life and status, will be determined by this baby. She connects her role to God's ancient purposes, seeing it in terms of the promise to Abraham.

Are you accepting and obedient? 

Do you order your relationships according to your faith?

Do you put God's Son at the center of all things?

FAMILY TIME: How does your relationship with Jesus impact your outlook? Does it affect your view of school? Work? Play?

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in Advent

Advent Week 3: The Way of Surprise, Day 4

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LUKE 1:36-37

Really committing your life and ways to God will alter all your relationships. New creatures, some very strange, will enter your circle, just as Gabriel entered Mary's life. Later on, she was carried into a ministry that connected her to lepers and beggars and Gentiles and Pharisees and tax collectors. But immediately, there were changes to her existing relationships. Her parents, and her fiancé and his parents, and all her friends were in shock. Yet God gave her a special ally and friend to encourage and help her. Unlikely Elizabeth, aged relative, became a companion in  pregnancy and motherhood. She, too, would raise a prophet, she, too, would have to accept that God's plan would alter her life and her retirement and command all her powers of faith and love. 

How has your faith altered your relationships? 

Have old relationships changed?

Have new ones emerged?

Celebrate these changes in prayer.

FAMILY TIME: Do you have any unique friendships? What is the most unusual one? Discuss.

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