Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The lion is supposed to be the king of beasts. If there was a king of birds, I think it would have to be the eagle. I remember one point in our Native American ministry one summer when our team had just arrived on the spiritually darkest reservation we have ever been on. As we were praying and preparing for our outreach there, someone pointed up toward the sky and said, "Look!" It was an eagle, soaring above our heads, and we all felt as if God had sent that majestic bird to visually affirm His care for us. It's hard not to be inspired watching an eagle soar. But if it were up to baby eagles, they never would. They love the softness of the eagle nest - until one day, while they're out walking around the nest, Mother Eagle starts pulling the fur and the foliage out of the nest, leaving a bed of exposed sticks and stones. Suddenly, that comfy little nest isn't so comfy anymore. At that point, Mama Eagle manages to get that eaglet out of the nest, onto her back, and into the sky. I'm sure that eaglet can't imagine just hanging out there in the sky all by himself, but that's what he was born for. He wasn't made for staying in a cozy nest, and neither are you. He was made to touch the sky, and so are you.

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Christmas Eagles."

There never would have been that first Christmas if some of the key players hadn't had their nest stirred up, if they hadn't left the comfy for the risky. The eagle thing happened to Mary in our word for today from the Word of God, Luke 1:30 and following. "The angel said to her, ... 'You have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus.' ... 'How will this be?' Mary asked the angel, 'since I am a virgin?' The angel answered, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you.'" Slip into Mary's skin for a minute. She's engaged to be married to a wonderful guy, Joseph. She has the reputation in town for being a good girl - a virgin. Suddenly, in the eyes of her fiancée, her family, her church, she will be pregnant without explanation. In one amazing moment, Mary's nest is suddenly very uncomfortable. She could lose everything.

In essence, God is asking her to move out of her comfort zone, climb on His back, and go out and touch the sky. He wants to do amazing things through her, but she'll have to leave the safety of the status quo for it to happen. Just like that baby eagle, you can never learn to fly if you stay in the nest.

Mary's response in verse 38, "I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as you have said." Personal security, personal comfort won't decide this; she will fly wherever her Lord is ready to take her whatever the cost. And that flight will give her life a significance, an altitude, she could never have dreamed of just staying where she was. Joseph was asked to do the same thing - to risk his reputation, his own plans for the future, to go ahead and marry his mysteriously pregnant fiancée.

Both Mary and Joseph were blasted out of their comfort zones to be the ones through whom Christ would come to the world. It's still that way today. This Christmas season, God's been stirring up your nest, asking you to do something in obedience to Him that is not comfortable, that doesn't look safe. He's leading you to move beyond what's comfortable financially or geographically or relationally, maybe to release something you've been disobediently holding onto for a long time, or to finally drop a sinful part of you that you've never surrendered to Him.

Christmas is when God's Son left the most comfortable place in the universe to come to the pain and the danger of this planet, to leave heaven, to go to a cross, to ultimately soar where no one has ever soared. Christmas would be a wonderful time for you to follow your Leader, wouldn't it? To finally abandon the safety and the predictability of the nest you've been in and let Him take you into bold new territory. Just like that baby eagle - just like the human father and mother of Jesus - you have to leave the comfortable spot to be what you were born to be.

            

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Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
(870) 741-3400 (fax)

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