The Example of Mary
Mary plays a crucial role in birth of Jesus. Her openness and receptivity to the work of God is remarkable and inspiring:
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.
The remarkable outcome of Mary embracing the presence and work of the Holy Spirit in her life was the birth of Jesus, who is Emmanual - God with us!
This Christmas, I encourage you to think about how you might follow Mary's example of openness and receptivity to the Holy Spirit so that the life of Jesus may shine through you.
You may be unsure of what it might be like for the life of Jesus to shine through you - that's ok, Mary was unsure.
You may have questions about the details of how the life of Jesus may shine through you - that's ok, Mary had questions as well.
If you are open, God will help you work through your concerns and questions. And then you will have the opportunity of a lifetime. An opportunity to receive into your life, the presence, power and work of God.
So during this Christmas season, I encourage you to set aside some time to reflect on the example of Mary, open yourself to God and say to God in a fresh way 'May your word to me be fulfilled'.