And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. (Luke 1:31)

How many times have you heard someone in church say from the pulpit, “Let’s stand and sing,” and then offer a hymn number for you to join the singing?  It is an invitation to participate in the worship of God.  Although we might not be the best singers, we join voices with others to offer our praise.  We are now part of worship.

Mary would have a big part in God’s story of salvation.  The angel Gabriel tells her that she will conceive in her womb, bear a son, and name him Jesus.  The miraculous birth of Jesus would require Mary’s womb, her physical and emotional energy, and her entire life.  Mary would not be a bystander, but she would participate in God’s great work. 

When we are seeking God’s will for our individual lives or our life as a church, God invites us to participate in the process.  While seeking God’s will does require trusting in God, it also means actively seeking God’s direction through prayer, reflection, meditation, scripture, and conversation with others.  God desires to conceive in us His will rather than force us into a plan which we have no say.  God invites us into a dialogue with Himself so that we might understand what it means to be his vessel in the world. 

When we participate in God’s will, then miracles happen.  In Ephesians 3:20, the Apostle Paul writes, “Now to Him who is able to do so much more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.” God can do wonders in and through us, and he invites us to join Him in the birth of something new.

Prayer:  Lord, help us to discern your will by actively seeking your direction for our lives in prayer, scripture, reflection, and conversation.

Published by Dr. Philip W. Turner

Since 1991 I have had the joy of serving as Pastor of Pine Street Baptist Church in the community of Oregon Hill in Richmond, Virginia. The people I have met a long the way have inspired me in my daily ministry. I have truly been blessed.

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