T he Christmas story speaks to me in a different way each time I hear it. It’s a story that never gets old or boring when I think of this ordinary family with an extraordinary call on their lives. In the midst of this story, there is an incredible moment of truth, when Mary is faced with a choice not unlike yours and mine.
Mary faces a dilemma of whether to agree with God’s plans for her life or to turn and run in the opposite direction. Aren’t you glad Mary chose to say, ‘YES’? YES to Yeshewa, Emmanuel, Our Saviour?
So picture this, a young girl, by all standards a ‘good’ girl betrothed to be married to a seemingly simple carpenter. At this point her aspirations are likely to live a modest, comfortable life as a good wife and mother, should God bless her and her husband to be, with children. Talk about living under the radar. When suddenly an angel shows up and changes everything. And not just any angel, but the angel Gabriel! That’s a big deal. Gabriel doesn’t just show up any and everywhere… he was sent on special assignment from God.
The first words out of Gabriel’s mouth are, “Hail, O favored one! The Lord is with you.” Her initial reaction was so human and so humbling as Luke 1:29 recounts.
“But when she saw him, she was greatly troubled and disturbed and confused at what he said and kept revolving in her mind what such a greeting might mean.”
She thought this was a bit odd as we probably would have as well. Isn’t it interesting that the first instruction given was one to bring peace and set her heart in right alignment to receive the word he was about to give?
And the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found grace (free, spontaneous, absolute favor and loving-kindness) with God. Luke 1:30 (Amp)
Then the angel proceeds to say, “And listen! You will become pregnant and will give birth to a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus…” Still pondering the strange circumstances at hand, she wonders how this could possibly be when she has not been intimate with any man at this point. Once the angel ensures her that this occurrence was ordained by God Himself, her response in verse 38 is what speaks deeply here. First she acknowledges her position in relation to the Lord, showing humility as His handmaiden. Then she gives her unadulterated ‘YES’. There is no hesitation, no ‘let me confirm this word with my BFF’s’ or anything. She straight-up says, “…let it be done to me according to what you have said.” In other words, Okay Lord, I’m in! I don’t quite know what you’re up to, but if you’re in… I’m in!
WOW!! I need to be more like Mary. How many times do we hear a word from the Lord, have it confirmed a number of different ways and we are still looking for more confirmation before we step out and just do it? Okay, okay I get it. Mary had an angel show up at her side—that’s pretty convincing, right? Maybe so, but if you were a virgin about to get married to a man you have never been with before, and your destiny is to be Mother to the Son of God, don’t you think it warrants a Gabriel-type exchange between you and God? Somehow I think this constitutes a need for trumpets blowing and choirs of angels singing, so for now we’ll accept the fact that Gabriel has presented the news with a heavenly light glowing round about him and take it from there.
Trumpets or no trumpets Ladies, there is power in our YES to God. Declaring it with our mouths and then willingly walking it out. Whatever He has will surely be for our best as He knows the end from the beginning. So Ladies, won’t you join me in saying YES to God together? YES to both our individual and corporate destinies as the Church? YES Lord! Yes Lord! Yes!! We are your handmaidens; let it be done to us according to what you have said.
Merry Christmas Everyone!!
Image courtesy Microsoft Clipart