May 04, 2016

At His Service

Luke 1:26-38

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.”

—  Luke 1:38

In Lee Daniels’ movie The Butler, a hungry, young Cecil Gaines breaks into a bakery. Little does he know that the bakery manager will take him in and teach him how to serve as a butler in a fine hotel. Gaines has to submit to learning carefully from his mentor, who teaches him to think intuitively and to predict what people want or need. Later he lands a job in the White House and serves presidents, prime ministers, and kings for 34 years.

Joseph and Mary likely had hopes and dreams for their future together. But then the angel Gabriel came to this unsuspecting couple, and their dreams turned in a different direction.

The problem with our dreams is that we often end up serving the dream. And then God often intervenes. God has an uncanny way of stopping us in our tracks, pulling us away from self-serving dreams that are always too small, and challenging us to serve the God of much bigger dreams.

Whenever angels appear in the Bible, they burst in unannounced to people who aren’t prepared for such entrances. “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you,” said Gabriel to Mary.

Even in her wildest dreams, Mary hadn’t thought she would become the mother of God. But God decided to call a virgin girl into the drama of salvation. God’s big dreams always swallow up our tiny ones. 

Dear Lord, help me to become a servant of your dream through obedience and trust. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

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