If You want me to (2) Just over two-thousand year…

If You want me to (2)

Just over two-thousand years ago Gabriel visited a young Jewish girl living in Palestine. Gabriel, a chief figure in God’s communication department comes to Mary with a very important message:

Luke 1:30-33 – “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall 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; and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will have no end.”

We have all heard this account and know the details of what follows well I’m sure. However, I want to highlight the response of Mary specifically in light of these circumstances.

Mary is being greeted by a skipping Gabriel who has the privilege of giving the greatest birth announcement in history. Calling Gabriel an unexpected visitor would be a serious understatement. He brings her news that she would give birth to the one who would redeem her, her people, and the planet. God Almighty had looked upon Mary with favor. He had chosen her to give birth to the one who would restore the Davidic throne. The nation of Israel and the people of the world have long awaited this man and at the time of his coming, a simple girl in Nazareth would be a central figure in this coming to pass. She would be the mother of the Messiah.

Mary must wrestle with the words of Gabriel and her own belief in them. She must do this while also considering the ramifications of word getting around about a young maiden, previously thought to be a virgin, is now pregnant, unknown to her fiancée. Legally this can lead to death by stoning. If Joseph chooses to “put her away quietly” she could live as an outcast from her family, friends, and town.

Mary’s response to Gabriel’s words are honest and humble:

“How can this be, since I am a virgin?”

Perhaps Mary is not even hit with the information that this child she will have will be the king of the Kingdom of God and provide salvation to mankind. She may have been overwhelmed and so she wants to understand more. She is astounded that she will have a baby at all! Graciously, Gabriel gives her some insight into this supernatural event:

“Holy spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy child shall be called the Son of God.”

And Gabriel speaks then the words that finally help Mary make some sense of this message:

“For nothing will be impossible with God.”

Think for a moment of Mary growing up. She listened to her father and grandfather tell her the stories of Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Deborah, Hannah, or David. She had heard so often how God had worked in and with the faithful men and women before her. Now this same God was calling her to something that although she may not have understood fully, she could be sure that what God had promised He was also able to perform. God would take care of His part, Mary only needed to trust Him and obey. God would take care of the impossible. Young Mary needed to trust that with God the impossible was possible.

Just as Mary must have known how God had worked in the past to help her gain faith in the present, we too can look to Mary’s example of simple trust in God’s promises. Mary’s love for God would allow her to conquer any fear she had about what He was asking her to do. She understood that she was just the servant, God is the master.

“Behold, the bondslave of the LORD; may it be done to me according to your word.”

Is our love of God bigger than our fear of something in this life? Is our faith in God’s promise overshadowing the uncertainty of our circumstances? May we, like our sister in faith Mary, trust that God has more figured out that we will ever know. May we also hear the word of the LORD and respond to what He has promised because of our devotion and love for Him. Let us be His bondslaves and echo the words of Mary’s heart in our lives

“Almighty Father, may it be done to us according to your word.”

Luke 1:46-55 – And Mary said: “my soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave; for behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed. For the Mighty One has done great things for me; and holy is His name. AND HIS MERCY IS UPON GENERATION AFTER GENERATION TOWARD THOSE WHO FEAR HIM. He has done mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart. He has brought down rulers from their thrones, and has exalted those who were humble. HE HAS FILLED THE HUNGRY WITH GOOD THINGS; and sent away the rich empty-handed. He has given help to Israel His servant, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever.”
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