“I am the Lord’s Servant”

“Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.  But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, 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. He will be the Most High.  The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob, and His kingdom will never end.

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

“The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Holy Spirit will overshadow you.  So the holy one born to you will be called Son of God. Even Elizabeth you relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month.  For nothing is impossible with God.

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered.  “May it be to me as you have said.”  Then the angel left her. Luke 1:29-38

I can’t imagine being in Mary’s shoes.  A young lady, pledged to be married to a God-fearing man.  Can you imagine all the dreams the each held for their future together?

A visit from an angel changes everything. Mary was told, although a virgin, she would be with child before her marriage was finalized.

I imagine many of us would respond with- “Uh, thank you, but could God please use someone else?”

Instead, Mary response was “I am the Lord’s servant, may it be to me as you have said.” Luke 1:38.

What caused Mary’s response?  Many changes were taking place: her fiance would question their intended marriage, she would be treated as an outcast in her society, and even her body would begin all the changes associated with pregnancy.  And, oh, can you imagine the emotions?!?

I think her great love for and wave-less faith in God prompted her response. “I am the Lord’s servant.”

How often do I look at what I am called to do in such a light?  Do I focus on doing whatever God calls me to do with a servant’s heart?  Certainly not all the time.

And yet, here was Mary, with a monumental change in her plans, one she did not design, or seek out.  When I think of all Mary sacrificed for God, I am in awe of her faith and ashamed at my lack of faith.

Mary’s story certainly shows us that God can, and should, be trusted completely. Even when we cannot imagine we heard Him right!

But God did not just send His message and leave her hanging.  Just like a loving Father, which He is, He sent her a confirmation, and then a large dose of encouragement!

In Luke 1:39-45 Mary visits her aunt Elizabeth who confirms that Mary will give birth to the Lord.  She also receives encouragement from her aunt in verse 45, “Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished.”

How like a loving Father to equip His daughter with everything she needed to accomplish her calling: understanding the calling, confirming the calling, and then He gave her encouragement.  In this case, someone believed her and in her: she was blessed indeed!

Reflections:

1) Consider all Mary lost when she became the Mother of Jesus.

2) Read Matthew 1:18-21.  Imagine how Joseph felt about their impending marriage after he learned of Mary’s pregnancy, before the angel visited him. Joseph judged before he knew, how often do I do that?

3) Reflect in how both Mary and Joseph each grew in individual faith during this time.This time of trusting God’s guidance would prepare them for their future together as Jesus’ parents.

4) Note that God sent both confirmation and encouragement to each. (To Joseph, he addressed the fear factor.)

5) How has God confirmed difficult plans for your life, and then provided the encouragement you needed?

Thank you for reading!  Please return by Monday, December 24, for the next post.  Merry Christmas!

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