I had a neighbor and friend who is a college assistant football coach. (I would have overdosed on college football this past Saturday, but had too many other commitments. It can be intense.) This friend was on the coaching staff of Alabama when the Tide last won a national championship. He has also been on teams that won nearly no games. In the few years he lived with his family on our street he coached for four teams, one season commuting to another state.
It’s a rough business, with firings and dislocations if your team doesn’t win.
His job depends on how well others do. And the others who determine his success are only eighteen to twenty-two years old. And, they are guys, which means that they are twelve to fourteen in girl years. They mess up. (Do you think that Florida missed their All-American defensive end who was suspended because of a DUI earlier in the week?)
Do you have a job that depends on the success of someone else? It’s impossible not to. If you are the lowest on the rung, you depend on the leadership and management of those ‘above’ you. If you manage people, you depend on those you manage.
An amazing reality is that God depends on others. The one totally non-contingent being, who, alone is responsible for the existence of all things depends on others for the success of his purposes.
Okay, to be theologically correct, God does not depend on anyone – by necessity. But, here’s the crazy thing – God depends on others by choice.
Are you kidding me?
Yesterday at the Gathering Church we looked at the story about Gabriel coming to Mary to announce the birth of Jesus. Luke 1:26-38 Our familiarity and sentimentality attached to the story have pretty much drained the shock and drama right out of it.
God’s going to depend on a young teen to save the world?
This principle stands out: God accomplishes his purposes through people.
No surprise in one sense. Since Creation, God has depended on humanity to manage this world. God depends on men and women to routinely serve and bless what he has made. People who don’t’ even believe in God, who disdain any religion still accomplish God’s purposes when they do anything that serves this world. Scientists, teachers, parents, artists, all have been endowed with gifts, abilities, passions and opportunities to do something to help God bless this world.
But, ever since Abraham, God has had another purpose in mind: Salvation.
And, again, he partners with that one species that bears his image to accomplish his purpose.
This week on this site we will look at what Mary needed to know to join God in saving the world.
It’s what you and I need to know as well. What we would like to be most true of us.