Today’s post is actually a Christmas devotional I wrote for our Women’s Ministry at church. I love thinking about the Christmas story from Mary’s perspective and wanted to share the devotional here (and to challenge myself to submit to God’s will in all things, as Mary did.)
Do you ever wonder what Mary was doing when the angel Gabriel appeared to her? Was she collecting water? Cleaning up from a meal? Or looking up at the stars at night? We can only imagine what it was like for her to hear the voice of God’s messenger as he interrupted her normal activities.
Mary was living her life in faithful obedience and submission to God. She was engaged to be married, and was most likely planning a quiet, simple life with Joseph. As Gabriel greeted her by saying, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you”, she was fearful and confused by his words. It seems as if she was asking, “Who me?” Mary’s response makes it clear that she was not campaigning for the position of Jesus’ mother. Nor was she trying to earn her way into the Bible hero hall of fame. She was just a girl, faithfully serving the Lord.
After telling Mary that God was with her, Gabriel told her not to be afraid. Mary would have much reason to fear. In earning God’s favor, she would be risking her reputation, engagement, and her very life. However, the reward was far greater than any possible risk. The reward was Jesus!
As Gabriel spoke to Mary, she would not have been able to fully understand the implication of his words, or how the events he spoke of would forever change history. Yet, she answered him with some of the most beautiful words of submission ever spoken: “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”
Mary willingly, faithfully, and graciously accepted whatever God’s will was for her life. She trusted God with the details and simply rejoiced in His favor and His calling. Mary provides an extraordinary example of what it means to trust in the Lord. She must have had so many questions, but instead of asking for answers and assurances, she fully surrendered to God’s plan.
What is God calling you to do? Has He interrupted your daily routine to ask you to trust Him more? We don’t have to know all the answers or how a situation is going to end, in order to trust Him. God is trustworthy and will enable us to accomplish the task He has set before us. Mary was just a girl, willing to faithfully serve her King.
How will you serve God this Christmas season? Will you trust Him to move you out of your comfort zone as you embark on a new adventure with Him? Will you serve Him in the mundane activities as you wait on His perfect timing? We can rest in God’s perfect plan for our lives because we know that our reward is the same as Mary’s was; Jesus.
May we all carry the love and truth of Jesus to those around us this Christmas season.