Everlasting God

Ezekiel 37, Luke 2:1-20

A conversation on Sunday:

“What are you going to tell Taryn when she asks where babies come from?”

I told Allison, “I’ll say they came from God.”

“What’ll you say when she asks how God put it there?”

“Well, I’ll tell her He used parts already on earth to make the baby.”

Allison explained that if I told her this, she’d probably think it would entail an arm coming from somewhere, and a leg from somewhere else, etc. A gruesome thought, but a little less risky than trying to deliver the adult answer in a tactful way.

I think about babies a lot now.  Sometimes I don’t have a choice but to think about a particular baby, especially during her screeching and clamoring for food, or those precious moments when she soaks through her diapers.

I read about Mary and the birth of Jesus in Luke 2 today. I know it’s not Christmas time.  Call it the celebration of His conception or something.

How did Mary do it?  She didn’t have a pacifier, a baby bath, burp cloths, swings, onesies, or disposable diapers.  No sitter, no choice clothing, no formula when breastfeeding got exhausting.

And she her child was straight from God. High expectations pretty early.  How did she explain that to the future in-laws?

“How’d you get pregnant??”

“Well… you see, this angel showed up…”

“Angel? Whoever this Angel guy is won’t be showing up anymore.  Honey, grab my .38 please.”

Well, the fact is, she didn’t explain it to anyone.  I don’t know that for sure, but she definitely didn’t tweet about her pregnancy. Instead, the Scriptures say she “treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” I think that’s a nice way of saying the Holy Spirit knocked up and she kept it to herself for a while until it all blew over. The shepherds heard about it and obediently went about sharing the news with all (v. 17), but Mary sat and meditated on it.

The same phrase is used again in the latter half of the chapter when he ditches His parents to listen to some teachers in the temple. At least Joseph is still in the picture at this point, considering Jesus is a stepson, in a manner of speaking.

Snide commentary aside, the shame was likely tremendous for Mary. But she was also promised something tremendous: the true shepherd of the everlasting kingdom.  Jesus would eventually make one huge sacrifice to unify us all, forever.  Ezekiel 37 foretells His arrival:

          “My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd…and David will be their prince forever. I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant.”

David is a symbol for Jesus, the Messiah and ruler. And now, Mary is the source for His very human existence on earth.

Have you ever thought about an “everlasting kingdom”? The governments of this world are unstable — and no, I am not talking about the U.S. in particular.  People are selfish, and people will never have a perfect system because of their inherently flawed nature. But the Bible proclaims that there will be a day that an everlasting kingdom will exist.

We can wait for the tangible upheaval and subsequent establishment of the new Jerusalem.  But the kingdom is here and now, if you want it. It just means letting Him rule in your heart.  In a way, Mary did the right thing — she considered His wonder and beauty and was overfilled with joy.

His everlasting kingdom is here and now. It’s up to us to be a part of it or otherwise.

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