Advent 23: Psalm 113, 114 & Luke 1.39-45

From Oksana Kastanda

“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” – Luke 1.45

In the past few days I was thinking about "What had Mary had to do to earn such a privilege from our Lord"? I mean, hello, to deliver and raise the Lord? And could you just for a moment imagine that she got pregnant from the Holy Spirit and without hesitation believed that she is now the mother. The super mother!

The answer is grace. An unearned gift, a favor, a kind gesture.

By Jesus we are saved. By His nature, purpose on this Earth, His methods He is using to reach us, by His blood we are forgiven and are able to find rest for our minds, hearts, and souls.

Broken, broken is the world. And bad things are happening to good people because of that brokenness.  We long, we moan, we feel irritated by every day we didn't reach the goal. We sacrifice our health and other resources in order to get a tiny bit closer to that goal: Rest. That goal is rest. We think of luxurious landscapes and fashionable hotels. We imagine a perfect cocktail and maybe a one-night perfect human. We daydream of unending finances and head -spinning fame. We think of the time when we finish college, when we get married, when we divorce, when we earn our first million, when we get rid of an addiction, when we have a house, when we kill ourselves, when we donate all wealth to the poor... and then we find rest. Methods can vary. But the goal is one - finding rest. Obtaining rest.

Little do we know, that that "secret power" that we use to take great decisions and do great actions, primarily and originally was for us to find rest. We all contain that "secret desire" to be known, be accepted, be understood, be loved. Both of those, the power and the desire, are primarily and originally pointing us to our Comforter - Jesus Christ. By Him and His sacrifice we live. Live as we "programmed" to live: be known, be accepted, be understood, be loved.

He is our rest. And He is that way because when we accept Him we do find rest. Suddenly it feels like everything in life is solved. It seems like all is good and I can go through anything. It gives such an encouragement that forces us to be inspired. And by that inspiration I mean knowing that we are loved. And when I personally know that I am loved - I feel at peace. I feel that I can rest.

I think Mary and Elizabeth were experiencing all sorts of feelings when it happened to them but most of all they were overfilled with peace and rest. And that took them through all the new challenges they met after they believed the Word of the Lord.

I am Ukrainian, newly moved to Boston to be a missionary. I also believed in what God had to say to me about coming here, and with every day coming I am again in need for his grace and love and peace.