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The Most Important Role of All

You probably won’t volunteer for the best thing that God wants to do t hrough your life.  Most people don’t.  when they do volunteer, God doesn’t seem to be that interested.  He always seems to have something else in mind.  Something better.

When, according to the story, the angel Gabriel came to Mary to announce the way God was going to save the world through her, it says that she was disturbed by the greeting:  “The Lord is with you.”  That’s a nice enough way to begin a conversation.  Perhaps it was the speaker who unnerved her.

Actually, “The Lord is with you,” is a signal that God is getting ready to do something big, and it’s going to start with her.  Same thing an angel told Gideon before he got involved in the Hero of Israel business.

The greeting is an announcement, not so much an invitation.  God’s not looking for a volunteer.  Oh, one time Nathan, the prophet, told King David the same thing, followed by, “Do whatever is on you mind.”  David had building a temple for God on his mind, a very noble thing.  He volunteered to do it.  But, God had something on his mind – a name and kingdom for David that would last forever.

What God would volunteer us for is always better than what we would volunteer ourselves for, if we volunteer.

In the announcement about the birth of Jesus, Mary discovered her most important role:  to be a servant of God.  She declared as much at the end of the conversation.

Mary had a unique role – to give birth to the Son of God.  No one else ever needed for that role.  But, God is still at work to redeem this world through people.  Our roles may be different in scale, but not in principle.

Servants are still needed.

So, what would it be like if your role as a servant of God became the filter for every other role.  Every role at your job.  Your role as a student.  A spouse.   A parent.  A citizen.

Hmmm . . . . . What difference would it make?  What would you do differently?


  1. What would I do differently? Good question…. I guess I would 'savor' things more. I think of older wise men, sipping their tea, because they have learned that downing the drink doesn’t add to the enjoyment of it, but simply takes it from you quicker, having barely tasted it. I'd probably savor conversations, and those wonderful still moments. Savor the laughter. Savor even doing the dishes… too far? That just what comes to my mind right now.