How Shall We Respond?
Mary was chosen by God to carry His Son, Jesus. None of us, I am sure, can imagine what that would have been like. From the time the angel came to tell her until the birth of that most precious of all children in the most humble of circumstances. Unbelievable. Mary’s “yes” to God was not one of flippancy, as in, “Okay. Sure. Why not.” It was not one of false humility, “Who, me? Really, Father? You are choosing me?” And it wasn’t one of doubt and unbelief, “Riiiight. You want me to carry the Son of God, the Savior of the whole world?” Mary’s response is impactful.
She was a teenager. She was not yet married. She was a virgin. She was holy, because God said so. He had set her apart for the most important Divine assignment ever given to 100% humankind. We know little about this sweet girl, but her response to God, as recorded in Luke 1, tells us so very much:
“Then Mary said, ‘Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.’”
Here is the entire encounter:
“Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, ‘Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!’
“But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.’
“Then Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I do not know a man?’
“And the angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.’
“Then Mary said, ‘Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.’ And the angel departed from her.” (Luke 1: 26-38; NKJV)
Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:
- Read the passage from Luke 1 and ponder it. Think through it with your emotions intact.
- Imagine you were Mary. How might you have responded to an encounter like this one?
- Maybe the Lord has come to you with a very particular assignment at some point in your life. Remember that moment and be encouraged in it.
- Talk to Him about any special assignment you feel He is giving you. He still needs “Marys” today who will carry Jesus to the world. Will you be one?
A prayer you can pray:
Lord, Your Word brings me great hope. It is something the whole world needs to hear. This story about the angel coming to Mary to announce her God-chosen assignment is heard as an annual ritual. Therefore, we do not always take the time to really consider what was going on. Help me to make it personal today. Help me see what Mary was experiencing, thinking, and feeling. Show me how she could respond like she did. It certainly wasn’t a “normal” modern-day teenager’s response. If there is something unique that You have planned for me to accomplish in my generation, then, Lord, I want to do it. I want to be able to hear You clearly, and say “yes” to You. May my ways be Yours and Your words be mine. Send me to fulfill Your calling for me in my generation in Jesus’ name. Amen.
As Mary did, let us say “yes” to God and fulfill His plan for us in our generation.