“Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” (Mary – Luke 1:38)
God not only chose to come into this world as a baby – He chose the man and woman that would be His earthly parents. Did they just randomly win heaven’s lottery… or did God see some things in them that drew His attention… and favor?
Think about this… Mary and Joseph would be the parents of the Son of God. No pressure, right? As a parent myself, I know all too well that my own flaws and failings have a tendency to have a profound effect on my kids. I mean, I was the perfect parent… UNTIL I had kids! What I am… becomes a part of their upbringing… and their lives! In other words, my messes tend to mess them up! I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want to have the added responsibility of raising God’s Own Son!
But God chose Mary and Joseph to nurture the Messiah. Maybe there is something in them that we should see – and adopt in our own walk with God.
We begin with Mary…
By most accounts, she was just a poor girl from an insignificant town, from a humble family, with few expectations that her life was going to be any different than most. Church tradition indicates that she may have been quite young when visited by the angel Gabriel (12-14 years old!). But even from a young age, she demonstrated a depth of understanding, and a commitment to God, that was rare (read Luke 1:46-55!)
Her commitment to God was greatly tested when she received the news that she was chosen to be the mother to “the Son of the Most High” (Luke 1:32). The privilege of being the Mother of God’s Own Son had to be tempered with the repercussions that were sure to follow.
She would forever be open to scrutiny and ridicule for the fact that she had conceived a child outside of marriage. By Jewish law, she could lose her life because of her perceived “promiscuity.” Her family could disown her. Her own betrothed husband could abandon her – and be legally justified in doing so (which would bring her years of unbearable hardship [as she would have no one to take care of her in a male-dominated culture, so unfavorable to widows or the “unfaithful.”]). Yet, Mary, knowing all these things… submitted herself, willingly, to the will and purpose of God.
God always knew this about her. He saw her heart. He knew that she was brave enough to face all the “looks” and the unfounded criticism. He knew that she would place everything on the line for the sake of Her God, and for His will for her life.
This is no small thing.
At the heart of most of our struggles with submitting to God is our own self-preservation. We all want God, to a point… until we are asked to face ridicule or derision or accusation – and we must choose between God and “saving face.”
Mary made this choice. Without reservation. Without hesitation. The cost to her own life did not matter… she was divinely chosen for a task – and she accepted that task… with her whole heart.
It is the one thing God values most in those whose hearts become the home for His Son.