Friends!!! I am so excited to share with you, I have the incredible opportunity to guest blog for my church, Mannahouse, for the month of December!
Please join me for this Christmas Blog Series, like it, share it and leave comments, I’ll be there to reply back to you. You can see that post on my church’s site here or follow along with me at Andersonswife.
These next few weeks we will walk through the story of the birth of our savior, Jesus The Provision. (Aka, Provision for the journey.) This week, let’s look at Mary the girl who said YES!
Let’s begin by going to the book of Luke in the New Testament to set the scene.
Luke 1:26 “In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man named Joseph, of the house of David. The virgins’ name was Mary. And the angel came to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you.” But she was deeply troubled by the statement, wondering what kind of greeting this could be. Then the angel told her: “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Now listen: You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will have no end.”
Mary asked the angel, “How can this be, since I have not been with a man?” The angel replied to her: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the holy one to be born will be called Son of God. And consider your relative Elizabeth – even she has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called childless. For thing will be impossible with God.”
Verse 38 “I am the Lords servant,” said Mary. “May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel left her.
I often read through this conversation and try to put myself in Mary’s position wondering if I would respond the same way she did. I think about the divine moments that she experienced like the one we see immediately in Luke 2. Shepherds arrive on the scene the night of Jesus’ birth. Imagine being Mary wondering who invited them? and then hearing their narrative of invitation coming from Angels. Hence they found the baby lying in a manger, just like they were told. The bible says “after seeing them, they reported the message they were told about this child and all who heard it were amazing at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary was treasuring up all these things in her heart and meditating on them” This was just the beginning. I also think about the pain she would endure because of what people would think about her son as he grew up and how they would treat him. In verse 35, the prophet Simeon said that a “sword would pierce her soul” because of the life Jesus would live and how that would affect her mentally and emotionally as his mother. As I look at her life I see Mary was chosen by God to live a life that was holy. (Side note: Holy = separated unto him, for him.)
Mary’s first response was looking for FACT asking “How can this be done?” The Angel Gabriel not only told her that the power of the Most High would overshadow her, but he also told her about her relative Elizabeth. Consider Elizabeth’s pregnancy a confirmation, a sign that Mary can trust the word of the Lord.
Mary’s second response was one of FAITH saying “I am the Lords servant, may it be done to be according to your word.” In that supernatural moment, Mary said yes, and it was in the days to follow that she lived with an attitude that said yes, though her days seemed like everyone else’s, and her parenting was normal according to the traditions and customs of her day, but it was the YES in her heart to treasure the divine and embrace the pain that lead to her being called blessed for generations.
Before Jesus died on the cross for Mary’s sins to become her savior, Jesus was just a baby. What did Jesus as a baby provide for Mary? Jesus provided Mary a life filled with opportunities to say YES. It was an invitation to live holy. As a baby, Jesus was already Mary’s provider. Because Jesus was in her life, she had countless opportunities to say yes to the Lord in her heart which made her ordinary peasant life, extraordinary. I imagine she got a taste of what John 10:10 meant when Jesus said “I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.” What an amazing opportunity Mary had when the angel appeared to her and told her she was chosen.
This Christmas let’s live like Mary did looking at the facts and responding with faith, let’s choose to say YES to the opportunities that God brings to us to live a holy life and to accomplish what God has chosen us for. Amen.