Being Like Mary

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.

Luke 1:38

We can only begin to imagine the shock Mary must have felt when hearing the news that she would bear a child, even though she had not been sexually intimate with a man. Of course, there was the added tidbit about her baby being the Messiah and Son of God. Wow!

At first, Mary asked the angel how this would be possible, given her virginity. The context makes it clear that Mary wasn’t rejecting the angel’s message, but asking for an explanation. A reasonable request, to be sure.

After Mary heard that she would become pregnant by the power of God’s Spirit, she responded: “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” I find this simple, humble, and willing response to be one of the most moving lines in all of Scripture. Mary has heard that her whole life will soon be turned upside down. She’s aware of the social implications of becoming pregnant outside of marriage. She could very well be stoned to death as an immoral woman, not to mention suffering a lifetime of shame. After all, who would believe her impossible story about how she became pregnant? Nevertheless, Mary offered herself to the Lord as his servant (or, more literally, female slave). She allowed her life to be shaped by God’s word to her from the angel.

Oh, how I wish I could be like Mary! There have been times in my life when I have offered myself fully to God. But it seems like I so often live in a place of hesitation. I give myself to God, then take myself back. I offer myself again, only to withdraw my unbridled commitment. Maybe you can relate to what I’m saying.

May this Christmas be a time for us to offer ourselves to God more fully as his servants. May our lives be shaped by his will for us.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How do you think you would have responded if you had been in Mary’s sandals? When have you offered yourself freely and fully to God? When have you held back? Why?

PRAYER: Gracious Lord, I want to be like Mary. I want to be used for your purposes in this world. And when you make your will clear to me, I want to offer myself to you as your servant.

You know, Lord, how hard that can be for me sometimes. When you call me to something scary or costly, I tend to hold back. I’m not all that fond of change, and I don’t like doing things that draw attention to me, especially negative attention. Help me, dear Lord, to trust you enough to say with Mary, “I am your servant. May everything you want for me come true.”

Grant me discernment, Lord, so I can know your will for me. Then, help me to offer all that I am to you, just like Mary. Amen.