Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Advent - Mary

Luke 1 :46-55  Mary's Song 
46 And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, 49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name. 50 His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. 51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. 52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.  53 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. 54 He has helped his servant Israel,remembering to be merciful 
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.”

Wow.  Mary was one amazing woman.  Or rather young girl.  Back in this time arranged marriages were the norm and girls usually were married in their teens.  I remember myself as a teenager, and I sure didn't have the strength and insight Mary had.  Of course, I'm sure that's part of the reason God chose her.  Or as I've said numerous times in this blog, God gave her what she needed to accomplish His will.  Or maybe, as most of us are when we are younger, she trusted with a simple faith beyond human logic.

Mary finds out she's going to have a baby.  And not just any baby.  A baby boy.  A baby whose purpose was to grow up and die.  Die for you.  Die for me.  Die for her.  I've never had children of my own.  The closest thing I've come to that kind of love is the love I feel for my cousin's two little boys.  I cannot imagine being told they were sent here for the specific purpose of dying.  But Mary is told she will have a Son who will be the Savior of the world.  And she sings.

Her song flows freely from her heart.  A song of praise.  A song of thankfulness.  A song of joy.  A song of salvation to come.  I am a songwriter...a not so great songwriter...but I do write occasionally.  But I have never written anything like the song Mary sings.  The first thing she does is praise God and thank Him for choosing her.  Choosing her to have her life turned completely upside down.  Choosing her to face possible shunning by her family and fiance.  Choosing her to bear the loss of her son.  But she also makes a choice.  A choice to trust God.  To trust that He will provide.  To trust that there is a reason.  To trust that she has been chosen by the Almighty God.  Her song also shares the joy of salvation and gratitude that God has finally brought true salvation to His people. 

Can you imagine being a teenage girl, engaged to be married and suddenly you get a visit from an angel?  And not just any visit.  But a visit telling you that you will give birth to the Savior.  When I was a teenager, my main concerns were what I was wearing to school, who I was listening to on my radio, who was going out with who.  But Mary is faced with an upcoming marriage and a baby.  And not just A baby but THE baby.  The One who would save us from our sins.

Even though Mary seems to be completely resigned to God's call on her life, I wonder if she doubted.  I'm sure she had some fear and insecurity.  Fear that Joseph would leave her.  Fear that her family would disown her.  Fear she would be stoned.  And even after Joseph stayed and her family still loved her, I wonder if she doubted she would be able to raise this child?  For how do you raise the One who came to save you?  How do you, being a sinner, raise the One who is perfect? 

But Mary obeyed God.  And in her obedience, she not only received a blessing beyond measure but also provided a way for Salvation to enter the world.  She trusted God for her part in the plan.  

I admire Mary's strength and resolve and obedience.  Overnight, she went from being a simple teenage girl to the mother of Jesus.  Wow.  

My prayer this Christmas is that you will accept the gift that was made available through Mary's humble obedience.  That you will see Jesus for the gift He truly is.  A gift with no strings attached.  A gift that will change your life forever.  A gift that never ends.  A love that never ends.  A love no one can take away.  Ever.

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