Growing up, I dreamed of “Prince Charming” sweeping me off my feet or a “Knight in Shining Armor” riding in and swooping me up! The life of luxury and ease while living the American Dream was certainly on my radar. I imagined how many children I would have and what I would name each of them. I pictured the castle I would purchase and the home I would make. I dreamed of a life that revolved around me!
Though none of us are handed all we selfishly dream of, neither do the plans we make all pan out accordingly to our naive pattern of thinking. However, there are those who have their lives totally stripped from anything resembling a peace-filled life. There are those born with birth defects, blindness or disease. There are many born into tragic circumstances of abuse and cruelty. In the same way, many considered being born a woman a curse, and the ramifications of being born a Jew.
But one of the most honored Jewess women born would have been Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Stephen Davey in his book entitled: The Original Christmas Carol states, “There are two extremes to which one can go in regard to Mary. One is to magnify her, and the other is to ignore her. . . While some magnify the servant rather than the Sovereign, others go to the opposite extreme of ignoring the servant. Their desire is to stay far away from the theological distortion that enlarges the role of Mary to co-redeemer and co-mediator. However, this can cause one to overlook an incredible young woman whose surrender to God is a model of submission and faith.”
When Mary responds to the angel, Gabriel, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38, NASB), it wasn’t because she had just won the lottery! It wasn’t because she was told all her dreams would come true! And it most certainly wasn’t that she would gain friends and followers on Facebook. Mary, quite possibly, had dreams of a life she would have with her betrothed. Thoughts of a beautiful life she and Joseph would share with family and friends. But that all changed when Gabriel appears on the scene. “Would anyone else possibly believe this strange story besides Joseph and Mary? Their families wouldn’t. Their neighbors wouldn’t. The nation of Israel wouldn’t” (Stephen Davey).
Have you ever thought about all that Mary’s young heart would have to go through? I can see myself asking the angel, Gabriel, if I might have a day or two to think about it and then I’d get back to him. Do I really want to just hand my whole life over to the Lord or try and keep a part of it for myself? Mary allowed her life to be a blank check in the hand of her God and exemplified submission and faith! “May it be done to me according to your word.”
After an astonishing angelic visitation and given the news that would surely make you wonder if you were dreaming, Mary leaves town (Luke 1:39). Gabriel’s visit also conveyed yet more astounding news that her older cousin, Elizabeth, was with child. And as Stephen Davey points out, Gabriel seems to be directing her to someone who would believe her story. What encouragement she would find there at just the right time when she could be experiencing all sorts of emotions as well as hormonal disturbances! The Bible records the song of praise that pours from Mary’s lips as she arrives at Elizabeth’s doorstep and the two exchange greetings (Luke 1:46-55)!
“The most difficult times to sing are the difficult times. Mary sang in a difficult time, but her song says nothing of life back in Nazareth. It offers no answer to Mary’s pain or coming sorrow. Rather, her lyrics focus on God her Savior, who is sovereign and merciful” (Stephen Davey).
Mary’s focus wasn’t on the difficulty of the task but the sovereign merciful Savior that would be at her side through all the pain!
Are you willing to say, “May it be done to me according to your word!”? Can you say, here’s my life, take it and use it for YOUR glory? May we all come to that point where we have surrendered ALL – for His glory!
Merry Christmas – celebrating the greatest gift of all. Sing it out real loud:
“May it be done to me according to your word.”