Advent Readings Day 21

Reading: Luke 1:26 – 45

 “I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May your word to me be fulfilled.’ Then the angel left her.” Luke 1:38

There are few people in the Bible who impress me as much as Mary.  That may come as a surprise to many, since I have spent my life as a Protestant believer and many times us Protestants aren’t quite sure what to do with Mary.  However, there truly is something about this young teenage mom who gave birth to and mothered Our Lord and Master.

Imagine this young teenage girl with her whole life ahead of her.  She is devoted to God and His plan for her.  She probably had it all planned out.  Joseph seemed to be a stable guy, after all.  Get engaged.  Plan a wedding.  Get married.  Settle down. Start a family.   Seemed like a normal enough plan, right?

But that was before an angel showed up in her bedroom to announce the life-altering and potentially devastating news – “You are going to have a baby, Mary.”  Those simple words would change everything.  What would Joseph think?  Would he think she had not been faithful?  What would Mom and Dad think as disgrace was brought upon them?  What would the neighbors think?  How could she disgrace the name of God by devoutly following Him publicly and obviously fooling around behind the scenes?  How long could she hide it?  The gossip mill would be cranking up and ready to go full force.

Whether these questions went through Mary’s mind or not, we don’t have record.  They would be real questions to face.  However, what we do have record of is Mary’s response after seeking a bit more information from the Angel Gabriel.  “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.”

Two things strike me about Mary’s response.  The first is her availability.  I don’t think that Mary made this up on the spot, but rather my guess is that she had practiced a softness and availability to the Lord over her short life, which is why He chose her in the first place.  “I am the Lord’s servant.”  I am yours.  Use me. Do with me whatever you wish, even if it radically changes the course of my life and causes pain and distress in the here and now – I am yours.  Use me.

The second is her trust in God alone.  “May your word to me be fulfilled.”  If it were me I might be praying that somehow God would remove this burden from me.  Mary, however, presses in and asks God to do this work He had planned.  She trusts Him.  She trusts that He is good and He will bring about good through this plan.  It won’t be easy, yet He is good and that’s all that she needed to know to trust Him fully.

What about you and I?  Am I fully available to The Lord?  No bargaining.  No excuses.  Just ready to say, “Lord even it you want to make a mess and bring me into it, I am up for it, because I am your servant.”  “I am fully available to you.”  As John Wimber used to say, “I am spare change in your pocket.  Spend me as you see fit.”

And then there is the question of trust.  Do I know that He is good?  Do I really believe that to the core of who I am?  He is good.  He has proved that over and over, but in no greater way than through Jesus’ coming.  Will I trust a God like that?

A young teenage girl teaches us what it means to be available and to trust The God of the Universe.  May we become available and grow in trust – seeing The World impacted by Our Master’s restoration, rescue and salvation.

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