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If I’m mad, then sanity is overrated!

March 21, 2015

Announcements are so common. At the moment I seem to be bombarded with political announcements – on the tv, the radio, the papers, online, it’s everywhere – “They promise that but we’ll do this!” – “You’d be mad to vote for them!” Lots and lots of hot air. I wonder how many promises there would be if party manifestos were legally binding!? There are so many political announcements that I have already started to filter them out, and the official election campaign hasn’t even started yet.

But some announcements are useful. I find the ones that direct you to a numbered till a little irritating but they are practical. There are announcements at the doctors – announcements at the station, sometimes they are even understandable! I remember having to travel through the Brussels Metro when there was a strike on. 2/3 of trains had been cancelled so it was crucial to listen to the announcements. Unfortunately, these were in French and Dutch not English. My French is poor and my Dutch non-existent, so I had to listen very carefully and be ready to take a risk on what I thought I had heard: Very confusing but I got through in the end.

God makes announcements too. Throughout the ages God has made announcements through the prophets. Occasionally, I read in the Bible of God speaking to kings like king David and less famous kings like Ahaz (Isaiah 7.10-14). But reading through the Bible it is odd to hear of God speaking to a teenage girl, like Mary (Luke 1.26-38). And this was no voice whispered in a dream. When God spoke to Mary he sent a royal messenger too – No ordinary royal messenger either – No God sent the Archangel Gabriel himself to deliver this message!

To think of an angel I need to remind myself to forget about sweet creatures with wings watching over little children. Angels are God’s incredibly powerful warrior messengers. So the arrival of the Archangel Gabriel would have been more like stealth helicopters appearing out of nowhere. Then a top general walking out to give me a message crucial to the future of the world. Waiting there for my answer – would I say ‘yes’, it might cost me my life! Could I say ‘no’, with everyone’s life depending upon it?

That is the position that Mary was in. She said, ‘yes’ and the new course of the world was set. An amazing woman, even as a teenager.

All of those stories were thousands of years ago. But the amazing thing is that because of Mary’s ‘yes’, Jesus came and through Jesus I can have personal access to God, right now; even me. Right now, God can speak to me through the Holy Spirit living in me. I’ve heard his voice so many times:

In big things – “Leave your good job and train to be a minister”, “I know you’re happy here but it’s time to move on to another place to minister”, “you need to sell your motorbike”, “you need to leave full time ministry”, “now give up your good job and come back full time again”…
In little things: “speak to her – she needs a kind word right now”, “help them”, “step back from that – trust me, it will be OK”, “he is in pain, pray with him”…

God speaks to me through his Spirit as I look at the work of the Creator all around me. God speaks to me, all because I belong to Jesus. God speaks to me, and I know that I’m not special and I’m pretty sure I’m not barking mad! Well if I am mad, then sanity is overrated!

What is God announcing to me now? What is He announcing to his people? What is he announcing to my church, my town, my country, this world?

Speak Lord, I pray your servants are listening!

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