Around Christmas time, I always start thinking about Mary. I ABSOLUTELY CANNOT IMAGINE an actual angel coming to me while I was engaged and telling me that I was going to give birth to God’s Son. Like WHAT?!
The crazy thing to me too is that Jews back then had been waiting for Jesus to come. Like He wasn’t “the reason for the season” yet- they didn’t even know what that was. lol. They belived in God without having all the stories about Jesus that we do now. Their belief in God was based off of pure faith that God was who He claimed to be in the stories of the Old Testament and that He would deliver on His promises. That is incredible to me. I admire these people immensely simple for that reason. And to top that off, Mary had enough PURE FAITH in God that He chose her. Everything that you read about Mary says she was probably just a teenager too. Wow.
I wish I was more like Mary. And then I thought, “Well, what did Mary do, and how can I be more like her?” So today I re-read Luke 1 and took special notice of what it says her actions were following Gabriel appearing to her and telling her that she was “favored” among the Lord. Here is what stood out to me about it. I read the story in both the NLT & the ESV and preferred the NLT, so that is the translation I am using just for your reference!
1. Mary “tried to think” (v29)
This action reminded me that Mary really was just a human. God didn’t make her a superhero; she had no special “faith powers” or anything like that. She was just a teenage girl going about her day when a literal angel appeared to her. I love how it says she “tried to think” because it leads me to believe that she just couldn’t comprehend what the angel had said could be real. When the angel called her “favored” she was confused. Mary was humble. She wasn’t like “Oh yes, me of great faith, of course you would say that to me, Mr. Angel.” No; instead she was “confused and disturbed”. How much more humble and meek does it get than that?
The first thing that I think we can all do to be more like Mary is to try to not think of ourselves as more important than or better than or more worthy than. After all, we are all only humans.
2. Mary “asked” (v34)
When we don’t have the answers, God does. So Mary naturally asked the angel how this was going to happen since she couldn’t figure it out on her own, and he was there with the Lord’s answer. That HE would be the one to make this happen. Mary didn’t have to do anything other than be a willing vessel for Him to use. He assured her that she would have the Holy Spirit come upon her and that His power would be the one making this miracle happen. Because God is infinitely greater than we will ever understand this side of heaven, this was a sweet reminder to me that even Mary, the mother of Jesus, couldn’t really make sense of how this was going to happen to her. But she asked the angel for the Lord’s answer.
When we don’t have the answers, God does. And Mary knew that. I think remembering this and reminding ourselves of it daily is another way we can be like her.
3. Mary “responded” (v38)
Mary gave her answer. She interacted with what she had been called to by the Lord. And I JUST LOVE what she says. Luke 1:38 says “Mary said, ‘I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true’. And then the angel left her.” I think it’s interesting that the angel left right after Mary claims that she is the Lord’s servant. He heard that she was willing and left. Mary said YES to God’s plan for her. That was all the angel needed to hear. The YES!
Another way I think we can all be more like Mary: say YES to the Lord when we feel him calling us to do something for Him.
4. Mary “hurried” (v39)
I love that it says Mary “hurried” to the town where Zechariah and Elizabeth lived. She had been told that Elizabeth was also pregnant. I can only think that she needed support. She sought after those older and wiser than her. She didn’t try to get through her pregnancy alone. And she went for support quickly- she “hurried”. I know lots of time I am WAY TOO PROUD and think WAY TOO HIGHLY of myself and don’t ask for help when I need it. I think that I can just figure things out on my own. Ha! SOOOOOOO not the case. If the mother of the Lord didn’t try to get through her major life event/news by herself, then why do I try to?
Whether it be from your husband or boyfriend, your parents, your best friend, your boss, whoever, seeking out support when you need it is another way we can be more like Mary.
5. Mary “responded”…again (v46)
This time Mary just praises the Lord. She obeyed and then she praised. Simple as that. Without knowing all the answers or the outcomes. Without questioning if she could have a labor without pain or if raising her King would be easy. She just obeyed and praised. How amazing would the world be if we could all do that? That is one of my major goals in 2018.
To be like Mary and obey and praise.
Mary was just an ordinary woman with extraordinary faith.
I love reading her story every year during this time, and I hope that this blesses you in some way! I wanted to end this post with Mary’s stunning prayer/song of praise to the Lord. May we all praise Him this Christmas season for humbling Himself enough to come to earth and be born of this incredible young virgin girl to save us all.
The Magnificant: Mary’s Song of Praise
Luke 1:46-55, NLT
“Mary resonded,’Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed. For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me. He shows mercy from generation to generation to all who fear him. His mighty arm has done tremendous things! He has scattered the proud and haughty ones. He has brought down princes from their thrones and exalted the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away with empty hands. He has helped his servant Isreal and remembered to be merciful. For he made this promise to our ancestors, to Abraham and his children forever’.”
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