14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:15, NIV)
Before us today, we have Mary, a young girl (perhaps as young as 12 or 13 years old) who we understand had just recently gotten engaged to a carpenter named Joseph.
Mary was just an ordinary Jewish girl. Like any other young lady of her day, she likely had dreams about marriage and what the future could look like for her and her beloved Joseph. Suddenly, in a moment, her life would forever be changed.
So, here we find this unassuming young lady, going about her daily duties when suddenly there appears Gabriel, (the angel we met in yesterday’s devotion) with a message from the Lord, a message for Mary, yes, but one that extends to and for the world –
“You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus” (Luke 1:31).
I wonder how Mary may have felt upon receiving this news! Fearful – perhaps even petrified; troubled in the presence of the angel! Here she was perhaps wondering at her readiness to be a wife and now she is bombarded with the news that within the next year, she would be a mother! She could never have expected to hear this most incredible, yet overwhelming news — that she would have a child, and her son would be the promised Messiah.
The implications that this news had for Mary were profound, to say the least! This calling would demand great suffering as well. Just as there is pain in childbirth and motherhood, there would be much pain in the privilege of being the mother of the Messiah.
Mary must have known that her submission to God's plan would cost her.
If nothing else, she knew she would be disgraced as an unwed mother.
She must have thought that Joseph would divorce her, or worse yet, he might even have her put to death by stoning.
Mary may not have considered the full extent of her future suffering. She may not have imagined the pain of watching her beloved child bear the weight of sin and die a terrible death on the cross.
Mary's submission to God's plan would cost her dearly – the call always comes at a cost!
How did she respond to the news? Nobody would blame her if she had declined the ‘offer’. “Thank you, Dear Angel, I am honoured to be considered for this very noble task of bearing the Saviour of the world! However, I will have to graciously decline!”
No, despite all the dots not connecting for her; despite not fully comprehending how she would conceive the Savior; despite knowing that her "yes" would have ramifications way beyond what she was able to perceive at this point in her young life, Mary’s response is one of belief and obedience.
"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." (Luke 1:38).
I wonder, this Advent/Christmas season, could God be calling you to something much bigger than yourself; much bigger than what you think you could possibly handle given what you have in your hand. You may have weighed up the pros and the cons and you’re not sure if the associated ‘cost’ is one that you’re willing to pay.
Mary, risked taking this God, Whom she had worshiped all her young life, at His Word. She didn’t know how it would all pan out, but she knew that if God had brought her to it, He would bring her through it; she knew that her God would not call her where His grace would not carry her. She accepted the call, and responded to it obediently, and rejoicingly.
Will you do the same? Will you take that step of faith in response to the Spirit’s leading, today? You don’t have to have all the “t’s” crossed and all the “i’s” dotted. Use what you have in your hand, take that step, do your best and God will do the rest!
Spirit of God, I have heard your call,
Your prompting, your leading, see the open door;
Gove me the grace, the fortitude, the strength,
To step forward in faith, trusting you for more.