Tomorrow at 11.15am Ottery St Mary Parish Church, Kay‘s going to begin a new series trying to apply lessons from the life of Mary. Today Kay explores how we often discount ourselves.
Mary was young and female. Those two things would surely have been enough to rule her out of God’s plans to save the world. But there was a third problem too. She was poor.
Then when the days stipulated by Moses for purification were complete, they took him up to Jerusalem to offer him to God as commanded in God’s Law: “Every male who opens the womb shall be a holy offering to God,” and also to sacrifice the “pair of doves or two young pigeons” prescribed in God’s Law.
Instead of sacrificing a lamb as part of the ritual purification process for their child, Mary and Joseph were forced to go for the bargain bins and offer instead a pair of pigeons (‘But if she cannot afford a lamb, she is to bring two doves or two young pigeons…’ Leviticus 12:8).
So what do we learn from this? Does God prefer poultry? That’s not the point; you see, no one is excluded being part of God’s plan.
We all have reasons to consider ourselves ‘unusable’ — our past, our failures, our doubts and fears, our age, wage, insecurities or pains. But God has a different ruler by which he judges our suitability. As he reminded Samuel when he went to anoint the bloke who was to be king of Israel ‘…The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’
Too poor? Too old? Too young? Too different? Too broken? What lies do you believe about yourself that you really need to change?
We have based this series on Craig Borlase’s blog, which you can find here.