Luke 1: 26-38 26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[a] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”
38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
I am the Lord's servant. Five amazing words from a young girl.
Do you ever sit and think about Mary during this Christmas season? Our focus - as it should be - is usually on the Christ-child. But today as I was driving to work I heard the song "Mary Did You Know"...and it got me thinking about this young mother and what it would be like to have a heart like hers.
We don't know for certain how old Mary was, but we do know that she was of "marrying age" - which could have been as young as 12-13 years old. In addition to being very young she was a virgin - it was expected of her actually. In fact not being a virgin could mean that she wasn't "marriable" - is that a word?? And when her betrothed Joseph found out that she was pregnant he wasn't obligated to marry her. But we know that God intervened in that part of the story as well.
Now I don't have a 12-13 year old girl (yet) but I know how selfish and immature I was at that age. Certainly not ready for marriage and definitely not ready to be the mother of the Son of God.
But let's look at Mary's response again. "I am the Lord's servant."
Now knowing me I would have had a thousand questions. I probably would have protested and argued and asked that someone else be chosen instead. But not Mary. Yes she questions the angel a little, but not much and then gives herself over fully to the plan that God has for her.
"I am the Lord's servant."
Do you think she had any idea what was in store for her? That her husband Joseph would put her on a donkey when she was 9 months pregnant and travel with her many many miles, that she would have to give birth in a stable surrounded by animals because there wasn't any other place for her to be, and flee to Egypt to protect her child, and that she would have to stand in a crowd years later and watch her son be beaten and crucified.
Oh Mary did you know?.....
And yet somehow I think even if she did fully know she would have still answered the way that she did.
"I am the Lord's servant."
I feel challenged by this sweet girl from our Christmas story. Challenged to give myself fully to God as she did. To be the Lord's servant. Whatever that may cost me.
And yet I hold back a little at times because I am afraid of what I may be asked to do. I don't want to ride hundreds of miles on a donkey while 9 months pregnant (metaphorically speaking), I don't want to have to hide or flee for my safety and I don't want to be asked to make a difficult sacrifice - like losing a child.
But I want to be able to give myself to God - to live my faith life without regret, to be a servant. Really truly have a servant's heart. A heart like Mary's.
So that is my prayer during this season. That my heart may be a heart like Marys. That in all things I will say "I am the Lord's servant" - and then walk forward in complete faith of His plan for my life.
How about you? What is your focus this Christmas season? Will you join me in praying for a servant's heart....a heart like Mary's?