Now what, God?

by Dawn Aldrich

livingsacrificeMary awakens. Her newborn, wrapped in rags and lying in a crude straw filled bed, beckons her. Tired from traveling and birthing she had little time to ponder the night’s events—the angelic fanfare and surprise visits from burly shepherds. Busy with all the mundane tasks like feedings and swaddling changes, Mary might have thought, “Now what, God?”

Not the life you’d imagine for the mother of God’s son, but just as she was chosen for her faithfulness and servant heart, Mary remained loyal to God’s teaching, even in the midst of the everyday. After eight days, she and Joseph, “took [Jesus] 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,” (Luke 2: 22-24 The Message). 

This imagery of Mary’s obedience, offering and sacrifice sets and example for our own lives as we ponder all God may have prophesied over our lives. 

Each January 1st we awaken to a new birth of sorts that holds endless possibilities, but soon enough, we get stuck in all the striving and the failures that we lose sight of what God’s trying to accomplish. We might even catch ourselves asking, “Now what, God?”

And just before we forsake our calling and crawl back under the covers, a clear voice rings true and beckons us, “Rise!” It says. “Arise, shine for your light has come…” (Is. 60:1). Ah, yes. Emanuel has come and despite our failures, He says, “I am making all things new,” (Rev. 21:5).

If only we’d grasp his hand and rise. He’s called us into a daily, moment-by-moment grace journey where every day we rise anew. We never rise that Jesus doesn’t offer to clothe us in his right-ness. All he asks is that we present an offering to God—ourselves and everything we do—daily.

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him” (Romans 12:1 The Message).

In our serving up eggs and bacon, the laundering, our mothering or fathering, our writing or speaking, engineering or oil changing—in the most mundane of everyday life—God asks us to offer up everything to Him. Serve one another as though we were serving Him, because when our life becomes a living sacrifice? It becomes the BEST thing we can offer Him.

And when we offer God our all? He transforms us—renews our minds and changes us from the inside out until we’re grace-filled and able to discern his voice and follow His lead.

“… fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it…” Romans 12:2a The Message.

Ever wonder, “Now what, God?” Do like Mary did and make your life an offering, a living sacrifice.