Download Message Resources “What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.” ―C.S. Lewis, The Magician's Nephew
The gospel of Luke tells us a lot about how Mary responded to the news of the Incarnation and her response is a beautiful example for us of what genuine Christian faith looks like. Note: The Incarnation of the Son of God is the terminology used to describe what happened when the second person of the Trinity, the eternal Son of God, "became flesh" as he was miraculously conceived in the womb of the virgin Mary, according to the Bible. In the incarnation, the divine nature of the Son was perfectly united with human nature in one divine Person. This person, Jesus Christ, was both "truly God and truly man."
A STATEMENT OF FAITHRead Luke 1:27-38. Notice how Mary didn’t just have some form of blind faith. The text says that she was troubled at the appearance and words of the angel Gabriel. No doubt Mary felt like we would feel if an angel appeared to us. And her first question “How?” indicates she was dealing with some considerable confusion and doubt. But also notice that Mary quickly comes to faith. She expressed her faith and trust in God and His plan by saying, “May your word to me be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:38)
What an incredible statement of faith.
You may be familiar with the 1970 Beatles’ song Let It Be which was written and sung by Paul McCartney. It was the Beatles’ final single before McCartney’s departure from the band. And although McCartney said the famous lyric “et it be” referred more to words of his own mother than Mary the mother of Jesus the line basically quotes Mary’s response to the angel in Luke 1:38. And it’s a beautiful three-word refrain for living by faith.
How is the Lord speaking to you in this new season through His Word and through other people? Does Mary’s expression of faith inspire you to trust in God regardless of your confusion or doubt? In what relationships or situations is God calling you to a renewed faith by saying “let it be” this Christmas season?
A STATEMENT OF OBEDIENCE
Faith seems to grow out of our obedience. Take a look at the words at the beginning of verse 38: “I am the Lord’s servant.” Mary started at the place of surrender and service. She obeyed her Lord. She didn’t treat God as her life-coach, consultant, or co-pilot. She called Him Lord and took on the posture and attitude of a servant. And by obeying—as a servant—Mary opened herself to a deep trust that would take whatever would come with God’s Word being fulfilled in her.
Consider this: Mary was young, but no different than other young Jewish women of her time (or of any time, really). She had dreams. She had longings and desires in her heart. But Mary’s faith threaded her longings through God’s promises and then submitted to His Word with an obedient heart. We are all called to do the same.
Reflect:John Wesley’s famous “Covenant Prayer” expresses this well. Take a few moments to read, reflect over, and then pray this prayer: I am no longer my own, but thine. Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt. Put me to doing, put me to suffering. Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee, exalted for thee or brought low for thee. Let me be full, let me be empty. Let me have all things, let me have nothing. I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal. And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it. And the covenant which I have made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.
AS WE ENTER THIS NEW CHRISTMAS SEASON...
How will Mary’s wonderful response of faith and obedience in chapter 1 of Luke be a model for you this Christmas season? Pause and take a few quiet moments to talk with the Lord. Express your heart’s desire to have faith in God and obedience for following Him and His Word.
Finally, what is one simple way you can share this good news with a friend this week?
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