Read Luke 1:26-38
Oh, Mary! She gets all the good press each Christmas. She enters the story in this amazing scene with the angel, hearing the news that God has chosen her to be part of fulfilling His promise for the Messiah.
We’re so familiar with her role in the story, we can easily breeze through, say “How wonderful!” and move on. But Mary shows us the key to how you and I carry out our part in the mission of Christmas.
You see, Christmas is all about the mission. The first Christmas was the mission of Jesus, coming to earth to provide the perfect sacrifice for our salvation, paving the way for each person to enjoy a relationship with God. And Jesus left the continuity of that mission in the hands of those who chose to believe and follow Him: to share the Good News and make disciples of Jesus among all people.
Mary’s part? To carry that heavenly gift in her womb, to raise the Son of God as her Son, and to share Him with the world.
I don’t know about you, but that strikes me a task beyond imagination! Yet Mary shows us the way we take on the mission of God. She’s willing to serve, in whatever way God asks of her.
“Be it done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38)—that’s wide-open obedience! She humbly refers to herself as a servant of the Lord, a handmaiden, willing and able and eager to do whatever is asked. She serves—without conditions!
It wouldn’t be easy for her. Gossip and shame were sure to follow. Joseph could reject her; her family would be justified in turning her out, even having her punished or stoned for what would be viewed as a moral failure. Not everyone would understand—or even accept—her account of an angel and the Spirit of the Lord overshadowing her. She didn’t have a clue what the future held; she didn’t imagine she’d watch her Son die a criminal’s agonizing death on the cross.
Yet Mary said yes. A wide-open, completely at the Lord’s disposal, no conditions, no questions, yes. And she rejoiced in it (Luke 1: 46-55)!
After all, the Lord God gave her this mission. And that makes all the difference!
- Do you come to God with wide-open obedience? Does that idea make you uncomfortable, or do you need a few conditions set before you obey?
- How will you reflect Mary’s attitude in at least one area this Christmas?
- What will you do to serve God’s mission today?
–Barbara Gerhart, Global Disciples