[It's strange to write things for others to read and yet know that God uses these posts mightily in my own life too. With that being said, this post is one that I go back to often. First written on a former blog close to ten years ago, the things God impressed upon me then still ring true today so I find myself re-posting it every Advent season.]
Let it be to me according to your word. Luke 1:38
Years ago, when I was preparing for a Sunday School lesson during the Christmas season, I re-read the passage in Luke 1 where the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary to announce that she was chosen by God to conceive a Son, Jesus. God’s Word was certainly alive and powerful as I was reading this very familiar passage because His Spirit gave me a fresh understanding that I carried with me through the rest of the holiday season. Here are some highlights…
When God called upon Mary to be the vessel that He would use to bring His Son forth into this world in human form, she was:
- willing to be used. We can’t underestimate the sheer shock that Mary must’ve had when an actual angel appeared to her, let alone the message he was carrying! But, Mary was willing–”let it be unto me according to your word.”
- surrendered. Mary didn’t respond to the angel with a list of better ideas or contingencies. She would’ve known the implications of becoming pregnant out of wedlock. She would’ve known that this would be a very difficult and lonely road to take. But, she submitted to God’s plan fully. I think there must’ve been a tremendous amount of faith and trust involved to do that.
- full of praise! Mary’s magnificat in Luke 1: 46-56 shows us Mary’s response to the amazing news she had received. She responded with awe, praise and worship.
We are so blessed to be used by God in His work here on earth. He certainly doesn’t need us, yet He chooses to use us. And in that process we grow closer to Him, get to know Him more and get the honor of advancing His kingdom here on earth. When we are chosen by God for a particular task, we can reflect upon Mary’s response–one that was willing, surrendered and full of praise. Sometimes we consider a ‘particular task’ to be a big ministry, but as I let these words sink into my heart I am reminded of how God uses me on a daily basis at home with my husband and children. I pray that I can be more open and willing, more surrendered and more worshipful as I live out the plan God has for me in this life. I encourage you, too, in this journey as you depend upon God to do the same.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for reaching out to us. Thank You for Your grace and mercy. Thank You for the ministries in our homes, churches, workplaces and beyond. May our senses be fine-tuned to Your voice as You lead us in Your will. We echo Mary’s words that were spoken many years ago when we say that You are mighty and have done great things for us! Holy is Your name! Your mercy is on those who fear You from generation to generation! In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Tonight, at Christ the Word in Toledo, OH, is Sound of Triumph, a Christmas concert featuring The Everlasting Word Band. If you are local, we would love for you to come join us. It is a glorious time of praise and worship! One of their own songs, Mary's Magnificat, fits nicely with today's blog post. You can see their video of the song here and find out more about the concert here. Hope to meet you tonight if you come!