Let us read Luke chapter 1.
Mary, probably in her teens, is living in anticipation of her engagement and marriage to Joseph... the betrothal. The lovely wooden chest with her name and his name carved on either sides... customary gifts.... The day when he would come and take her to his house. The sound and laughter of giggling girls and groomsmen, coming in a procession to reveive her from her father's house...
But then, in just one day and in one conversation with the angel Gabriel, everything changed. Her entire life was interrupted with God's plan.
These plans would have ridicule, pain, joy, misunderstanding, tears and she would later learn from the prophet Simeon, a piercing of her very soul.
1. A faithful response
"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.
She had no inclination to be considered a 'leader'. She didn't even hope that one day she would be held up as an example of faith. What qualities in Mary's life caused God to choose her to be the one to bring forth His son, the messiah of the world?
For this is what the high and lofty One says-- he who lives forever, whose name is holy: "I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.
2 Chronicles 16:9
For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war."
- honouring God like a servant. That means being a servant.
- servants aren't entitled
- she meditated on God's word
She raised her son along with her husband Joseph to be an obedient child. So that he would grow in stature in the eyes of God and men around.
Notice the only value they emphasized on raising Jesus when he was below 12 was obedience. Because they had that obedient heart. Someone said you can only preach what you yourself are learning to practice. Disobedient and doubtful negative hearts cannot expect their parenting to be producing faith and surrender in the hearts of their children.
- she was willing for her life's plan to be interrupted by God.
Look at her attitude when Jesus turned pre-teen. He was at the temple. Typical boy so curious to know everything around. They went back and expressed their anxiety to him. They knew he was mature enough to understand their role. But they never insulted him, didn't shame him in front of others. When he explained, they stayed calm and gave him that space. Notice she was maturing into a pre-teen's mother!
- the Bible says they did not understand what he was saying. He assured them that he was in His father's house. They left in faith and didn't humilate Jesus or yell at him. Are you assured that your pre-teens and teens are in the father's house.. the church. Do you trust the church? Mary trusted and so she could raise an awesome Jesus as a young man...
- she could get back even after plans got messed up
- she did succumb to the temptation of being a controlling mother.
46 While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him.
47 Someone told him, "Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you."
48 He replied to him, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?"
49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers.
50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother."
We see her so relatable to us... because we can also be tempted to take charge of Jesus' by telling him how to 'be God in our lives'...
- We take charge of our adult children... while we let go off control when we have to train the child in the way it goes...
- she realized that loving Jesus meant, loving his disciples
26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son,"
27 and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.
- she was loyal and stayed with Jesus to the end and at the resurrection
2. Humility is foundational
- not striving to be a leader, but having a desire to be known as the 'the Lord's servant'. That He was the potter and she was the clay. That He had the right to use her life as He saw best..
- she believed God was big enough to do anything. She believed even before she felt the baby move within her..
How will we respond, if we see every plan in our life and our dreams get uprooted and turned upside down?
- our response matters. I am the Lord's servant.
- Our faith matters. Nothing is impossible with God.
Mary found joy in the price of her 'calling'.
- like her son she was rejected and despised by many...
- she had a broken heart yet serving God was foundational to her response
- she didn't have a complaining spirit. Instead she sang and danced...
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,
Mary knew what it meant to be blessed and also what it felt to have a 'sword pierce her very soul'. Yet she gracefully accepted and embraced her journey with Jesus, mourned his death beneath the cross and when he arose. Praised God...
May your heart, as you face the thrills and defeats of the unexpected and the unimaginable, reflect Mary's humility and sing her song of faith...