What Preceded The Pronouncement

WHAT PRECEDED THE PRONOUNCEMENT

The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!  John 1:29

            Thirty years transpired between Jesus’ birth and John’s pronouncement of who Jesus really was.  Thirty years prepared the Son of God for three years of ministry.  Thirty years veiled the Son of God.  People saw Him as a son of Nazareth.  He was one child amidst other children of Joseph of Mary.  He was one student amongst other students in the temple.  He was one adolescent amongst other teenagers.  Yet, monotony, where one insignificant day led to the next, was how Jesus’ was being groomed to learn obedience and faith. The lessons of those three decades provided the foundation for the way He would handle His ministry and the walk to Calvary.

  • How could he handle the Pharisees so skillfully?  As a child, he watched those with spiritual power.  He grew in discernment regarding wolves and sheep; performance and authenticity. 
  • How could he forgive someone like Judas?  As an adolescent, he felt the scorn of other young men as he refused to defy authority, as he turned down invitations to sow his wild oats, as He embraced the underdogs, the ones who didn’t fit with the crowd. 
  • How could Jesus restrain himself on the day people wanted to stone the woman caught in adultery and, instead, quietly write in the sand?  As a boy, as a teen, and as an adult, He learned restraint by veiling His authority and waiting for God to exalt Him. 

            What precedes greatness are many days of preparation.  There are practice runs, many of them, but when I am living in the monotony of endless days of testing, the kind where it’s difficult to put one foot in front of the other, I don’t recognize them as such.  Not knowing what lies ahead, I believe that I am destined for nothing more than just marking time without a purpose. 

            “Wake up!” God reminded me tonight.  Don’t waste these days.  Moses had his wilderness.  David had his many years between anointing and crowning.  In between, each was tried and probably felt, at times, that the days were useless.  Yet, each of those days presented opportunities for faith, for prayer, for reflection, for study, for integrity, for serving without the fanfare of recognition. 

            In light of them and their stories, I can’t afford not to make each day count.  I won’t get lost in the cobwebs of my present story.  I will learn from my spiritual ancestors and realize that the threads of their own storylines are duplicated in my own tapestry.  There is no such thing as an insignificant day.  Spirit-filled decisions in the midst of what appears to be mundane shape my future.  

Complaining, feeling bored, taking revenge, battling hopelessness; these are all a failure to see each day as an opportunity for faith.  Forgive me.  Give me grace for these many days of testing – all in a row.  Amen

2 thoughts on “What Preceded The Pronouncement

  1. I saw the post from Dec. 29th and that hit me on so many levels. I’ve been feeling a little frustration at the Christian community because it seems like they have begun to believe divorce is “sometimes neccesary”. I have longed to divorce my husband and for God to give me permission, but it just isn’t so. I don’t know how or why Jesus loves him, but I know I will be more like Jesus when I can love my husband, too. I could list many wrongs and hurts (they’ve accumulated in the 37 year marriage) but focusing on those things will hinder my progress.

    I was looking at what Jesus got in His disciples and was struck by the types of people He “had to put up with”. Thomas seems like the perennial pessemist (John 11), Peter would not offer unconditional love (even after denying the Son of God and being forgiven), and Nathanael seemed to blurt out exactly what was on his mind. And that is just three of them! The twelve were not 100% delightful, yet He chose not to replace them but “endured” them to the end. He loved them and led them and helped them to grow. He was committed to them for the long haul; how can I make excuses to do less?

    I must go now, but I also want to thank you for your ministry. It’s helpful to many.

  2. Christine, so many times your devotions stun me with their timeliness for whatever has been running thru my mind hours before I read them. I praise God for your ministry & ask HIs blessings upon you. Last night & yesterday, I pondered the time I’ve spent waiting for restoration of my marriage..a promise I’ve been pregant with for over 11 years now. Thoughts of what a fool I must be, and how tired I am of being a single mom trying to raise 2 boys who are now teenagers while working full time kept running thru my mind. I even became so frustrated and angry that I wanted badly to drink alcohol last night…something I haven’t done in over 16 years and normally have no desire to do. Your devotion today assured me once again that God has not forgotten me. He is El Roi.

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