Mary is unique because God gave her a unique responsibility and mission. There is confusion about who she is and who she is not between denominations, but there is no doubt that she had a unique role as the mother of Jesus Christ. She is told by the angel that she was a “favored one.” Elizabeth prophesied about Mary that she was “blessed among women.”
Mary was given the daunting responsibility to be the mother of Immanuel, God with Us. Jesus is the “Word become Flesh.” In Jesus “rested the fullness of God” and he is God taking the “form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” Mary was the mother of God in the flesh. And you thought parenting your kids was a big task?
So how did Mary approach this mission and respond to this responsibility?
Luke 2:38 is her response. “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” Later in Luke 2 she sings a beautiful passage of Scripture where she says, “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from no on all generations will call me blessed.”
A very merry Christmas is one that is lived in absolute and complete openness and obedience to the will of God.
Here are a few questions and thoughts to help you examine your heart and focus your spirit on Christ as we celebrate his birth.
- Are you asking God, “What is your will for me?” or “What is your will of me? Mary was open for both. She received the blessing of this mission along with the burden of this mission. Are you seeking God for blessings only or burdens also? They are a package deal.
- Are you saying, “God, my soul magnifies You?” or “God, magnify my soul?” Is your desire for worship truly about the exaltation of the Lord or is it about an experience from the Lord? Such experiences are real, but they are the result of worship not the reason for it. He is the reason.
- Are you saying, “Lord, I am grateful for my estate” or “Lord, give me an estate”? What are you looking for this Christmas? What are you looking for in life? The Lord promises to “add all these things (needed things) unto those who seek first his Kingdom and righteousness.
Mary was not this person because she was called to give to be the mother of Jesus. Mary was called to be the mother of Jesus because she was this person. Mary was who she was by the grace of God, but God called her to such a faithful task because she was found to be faithful with little.
I challenge you during this Christmas season, a season that has become increasingly self-serving through the ages, to stop and consider the wondrous favor you have received from God. Commit to obeying him not by compulsion but because of joy in response to “His great love with which he has loved you.”
Here is a good Christmas prayer for the soul. Consider these words. Make them your own. And pray. Personalize the thoughts to fit your life, your calling, and your struggles.
Heavenly Father, You who are worthy of praise and reign over all things, thank you. Thank you for the wondrous gift of your Son for my soul. I am grateful for your grace and love. My heart rejoices because you have called me to righteousness and empowered me to live it out through the Holy Spirit. I am your servant. May it be to me as you will. Your Kingdom is first. My soul magnifies you because of who you are and what you have done, but I also rejoice because of who I am and the mission you have called me to live. I am yours and I am grateful that you are mine. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
Have a Merry Christmas,