No note of wonder and surprise?

By Dave Henning / December 6, 2022

“If you think Christianity is mainly going to church, believing a certain creed, and living a certain kind of life, then there will be no note of wonder and surprise about the fact that you are a believer. . . .  However, if Christianity is something done for you, and to you, and in you, there is a constant note of surprise and wonder.”- Timothy Keller

And Mary said, “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”- Luke 1:46-47 (NIV)

Timothy Keller continues Chapter 5 of Hidden Christmas with the observation that Mary responds in wonder to the angel’s message.  In Luke 1:46-47, Mary’s repetition represents a Semitic literary device for making an emphatic point.  Thus, Mary stresses that the angel’s message moved her to the depth of her being.

Hence, Pastor Keller argues, we should express amazement that we are Christians, that the great God works in us.  Therefore, the author exhorts:

“If someone asks you if you are a Christian, you should not say, ‘Of course!’  There should be no ‘of course-ness’ about it.  It would be more appropriate to say, ‘Yes, I am, and that’s a miracle.  Me!  A Christian! . . .  Yet he did it, and I am his.’ ”

In addition, Mary responds in willing surrender.  Thus, Pastor Keller underscores that Mary’s statement of obedience in Luke 1:38 teaches us many things.  For example, Mary doesn’t blindly obey, knuckling under to a greater power.

Instead, Mary grounds her obedience in this reality.  God’s our Creator and Keeper, deserving of our service.  We don’t possess the knowledge, power, or right to boss Him around.  Finally, Pastor Keller closes with two questions, accurate indicators of a Christian’s willingness to follow God’s will.  So, Timothy asks, are you:

  1. willing to trust God in anything He sends into your life, whether you understand it or not?
  2. willing to obey anything the Bible clearly says to do, whether you like it or not?

Today’s question: When do you sense no note of wonder and surprise about your Christian walk?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Consultant or Supreme Lord?”

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Dave Henning

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