Sunday, December 06, 2009

Mary, God's Servant

(Luke 1:26-56)

Hundreds of years before Jesus' birth, many of God's prophets spoke about the birth and the life of the promised Messiah. The one most quoted at Christmas time may be that of the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 7:14), who prophesied specifically that the Messiah would be born to a virgin.

God sent the angel Gabriel to a young woman in the town of Nazareth to tell His plans for the birth of the Messiah. Gabriel told Mary that out of all women, she was chosen to carry the Christ child. Mary was both surprised and humbled at the prospect of being the mother of the Messiah. However, she demonstrated submissiveness to God's will by stating that she was God's servant. A servant does whatever their master says, and does not question the master's motive, authority, or reasoning. Mary accepted her role and asked that God's will be done.

Gabriel also told Mary that her cousin Elizabeth was miraculously pregnant in her old age. Immediately after Gabriel departed, Mary traveled to see her cousin. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She cried out and then exclaimed, “Blessed above all other women are you! And blessed is the Fruit of your womb! How am I granted that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”

In reaction to Elizabeth’s words, Mary offered praise for the greatness of God and thanksgiving for being used by Him. She proclaimed, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has looked upon the low station of His handmaiden. From now on all generations will call me blessed! For He Who is almighty has done great things for me--and holy is His name! And His mercy is on those who fear Him with godly reverence, from generation to generation.”

God could have selected any young virgin, but He chose Mary. She accepted her role in God's plan and asked that God's will be done. Is God calling you into a role that surprises and humbles you--perhaps one that feels too challenging? How will you respond?

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