Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to accept whatever he wants. May everything you have said come true.” And then the angel left.
These words of Mary follow a startling message from the angel Gabriel to her. The angel told Mary that she was to be the mother of the Christ-child. Mary inquired as to how this would happen, since she was a virgin. Gabriel explained that the Holy Spirit would come upon her in a unique way. He promised her that God’s power would make this miracle come to pass. He encouraged her not to fear God’s plan.
Mary could have responded many different ways to the angel’s message, but she responded the right way. When God called on Mary for this assignment, she willingly and enthusiastically said yes. Risking embarrassment, misunderstanding and ridicule; even chancing the rejection of her fiancé, Joseph, she said yes to God. She became an available and appreciative vessel. She was willing to change her plans to fit God’s plans.
Mary’s example of willingly and joyously accepting God’s call should inspire us to do the same. Just as Mary physically carried the Christ-child, risking all the potential persecution this could involve, so we should willingly and joyously carry and present Jesus to the people we interact with everyday. We must be ready to risk misunderstanding, ridicule and rejection for Christ’s sake. Let this Christmas be a time when we learn a lesson from Mary’s life. May we always be available and appreciative servants of the Lord.
Lord, how often we have failed to willingly and joyously bear your name before others. At times we have retreated in the face of our fears—fear of misunderstanding, ridicule and rejection. Please forgive us. Help us to be like Mary. During this Christmas season bring boldness of faith to us. Help us not to shrink from the privilege of sharing you with others. Let us always be willing to change our plans to fit your plans. In Jesus’ name, Amen.