“Behold, I am the servant of the Lord;
let it be to me according to Your Word.”
Can you imagine an angel from God suddenly appearing in front of you? Telling you something will happen to you that is so incomprehensible that no one on earth can ever understand it?
What a shock it must have been for Mary, coming from the disregarded, despised city of Nazareth. She was among the poor and unnoticed.
But God noticed her. He chose her to carry our Savior, truly God who became poor so that we might become rich.
“You know the grace that has come to us
through our Lord Jesus the Anointed.
He set aside His infinite riches
and was born into the lowest circumstance
so that you may gain great riches
through His humble poverty.”
2 Corinthians 8:9 Voice
When the angel appeared, Mary became frightened, but the angel told her:
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
You will conceive and give birth to a son,
and you will call His name 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.
He will reign over the house of Jacob forever,
and His kingdom will have no end.”
Luke 1:30-33 HCSB
Mary was baffled, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”
The angel replied to her:
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore, the holy One to be born
will be called the Son of God.”
Luke 1:35 HCSB
Wow! God poured in His grace, and Mary opened her heart and believed this was not impossible with God. She answered His call, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to Your Word.” (Luke 1:38 ESV)
What would this illegitimate birth mean for Mary in the culture in which she lived? Her father might have cast her out and forced her into begging. She would be scorned and could even be put to death, but God took care of all this and told Joseph not to abandon her and to go ahead and marry her anyway.
She may still have been under suspicion. Maybe she even lost friends.
A difficult journey was ahead of her, and she knew her submission to God would be costly. Yet she remained devoted to Him and freely offered Him her body and soul. It was more important to her to follow God and have His favor than gain the approval of people.
O Lord, are we that available to You? Please help us to give You our whole hearts and lives, both body and soul. Make us open to whatever You have in mind for us in this life, even when we can’t understand it or we meet with resistance. Like Mary, help us to put Your favor and glory above people’s approval and favor. Enable us to throw ourselves into Your hands with a childlike trust as Your servants, ready to do or be whatever You ask us to! Help us to make room in our hearts for You! We invite You to be born in the stinking, dirty stable of our hearts! Help us to embrace and be filled with awe that You became poor so we might become rich! Thank You for Your free gift of unspeakable love!