image from angelsofsweetbitter2009
I just started reading Philip Yancey's The Jesus I Never Knew. A couple of summers ago, one of my dearest friends read and raved about it at a time in our lives when we both were in the midst of making huge life decisions that involved moving states away.
I decided it was time to pick a copy up and start reading it for myself. Only chapters in, I came across this quote that I thought was too compelling to go unnoticed (and I hope to be better about sharing some of these poignant thoughts more often). He's talking about the scandalousness of Christ's birth--an unwed teenager who is told by an angel that she's going to have a baby who will be the Messiah:
[Mary replied to the angel], "I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as you have said." Often a work of God comes with two edges, great joy and great pain...Mary embraced both. She was the first person to accept Jesus on his own terms, regardless of the personal cost.
Today as I read the accounts of Jesus' birth I tremble to think of the fate of the world resting on the response of two rural teenagers....it seems that God arranged the most humiliating circumstances possible for his entrance, as if to avoid any charge of favoritism.
(from Yancey's The Jesus I Never Knew)
And to think the humiliation was only beginning...it followed him from birth all the way through death. Today is Good Friday, the day of that death, when the curtain ripped from top to bottom and hope--of all things--flooded the earth. Sunday is just around the corner!
When I was Young: Remembering what Jesus was like to me as a child
What will you ask, today?: Thoughts for Lent