“Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:28-33, ESV)
Newton’s law of gravity requires that all objects in the universe act upon every other object in the universe. This attractive force is by far the weakest force in the universe, but on a planetary level, it is quite effective. Basically, Newton’s law explains why everything in the universe is where it is and moves the way it does. That is quite a bit of influence.
Massive objects draw less massive objects toward them. This drawing is the reason the earth orbits the sun. For half the year, the earth is falling toward the sun, accelerating as it falls. Then, the earth whips past the sun and the tremendous energy generated in the fall sends our planet rocketing out away from the sun. Over the next few months, the earth slows, losing its inertia until it reaches a point where the pull of the sun’s gravity overwhelms the inertia of earth’s motion. Then the earth begins its descent again.
It is the mass of the sun that keeps the earth orbiting year after year, and the balance of the gravitational attraction and inertial force sets up the environment we live in. It is the reason we live – the reason any life exists on earth.
Were another object in the universe to exert a greater gravitational force on the objects in our solar system, a massive shift would occur. In fact, the system would be torn apart and reordered according to that powerful influence.
Why bring all of this up?
When the angel appeared to Mary and revealed that Jesus would not only be conceived in her virgin womb but would also be the Son of the Most High and would rule a kingdom that would have no end, he was announcing a massive shift. The entire universe – the entire way people thought the universe operated – was shifting to a new orbit, a new order. Upheaval would give way to order.
Everything was changing.
As strange as it might sound, we still live in that upheaval and change. When the ancient prophets looked down the annals of future history, the time from Christ’s advent to the setting up of His eternal kingdom were compressed into a single event they called “The Day of the Lord.” They saw no difference between the time of the early church and today or a thousand years from now. They were all part of the massive shift that Jesus’ advent would usher in.
It is convenient to think that somehow our age is an age of stability, but in reality, the entire universe is still being re-ordered into the eternal, endless and timeless kingdom of Jesus Christ. Every object of our world is shifting out of the orbit of self that began with Adam and into the orbit of Jesus Christ.
We are not yet what we will become, and Christ is not yet done.