The Birth of Jesus Foretold
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”
38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
Mary was undoubtedly overwhelmed by this immense responsibility the angel and God have placed on her. She questions how it is possible then seems to accept it readily. There is no account of her arguing with the angel or lamenting this burden. She simply says, ”I am the Lord’s servant." She surrendered to God's will for her life.
God asked Mary to lay aside her dreams for her marriage, potentially destroying her relationship with Joseph and disgracing herself. God asked her to lay aside control over her own body, give birth to a baby, raise him and wait to see how this whole “reign” and “kingdom” thing was gonna work out.
Yet Mary did it. She surrendered herself to God’s will for her life. Can you imagine doing the same? We may not have the opportunity to give birth to Jesus, but we all have opportunities to surrender our life for Jesus. Each day God calls us to give up a little piece of our own plans and desires to submit to His. It may be subtle, a gentle voice calling you to reach out to a neighbor. Or maybe it’s a call to stop and help someone in need when you are pressed for time. Perhaps it is a voice telling you to give your money to a worthy cause rather than buy the latest gadget.
Mary was listening and willing. She was humble enough to give up her plans for those of God. She surrendered her life. Are you willing to do the same?
God, you are a big God. I love you and I am willing to serve your purposes. Please guide me to be a servant to your people. Guide me to be an instrument of your grace and peace each day. Thank you for loving me and for hearing and answering my prayers. Amen.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version ® NIV ®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.