Every year about this time, chaos descends. There are presents to buy, baking to do, and gatherings to attend. But as I think back to the reason we celebrate, I see Mary’s first Christmas was very different from ours.
Luke 1:29 says that Mary was greatly troubled, and I had always thought she was troubled because she had been told she was going to have a baby. But when I studied the scripture, I realized she hadn‚Äôt even been told the news yet.
Instead, Mary was troubled because the angel had appeared to her. And I can see why‚ÄĒafter all, it‚Äôs not everyday that you have an angel standing there talking to you! Yea, I think I would find that a little troubling. As a matter of fact, one Bible commentary for the book of Luke actually said people often responded with fear or awe when confronted with acts of God, like seeing an angel. (Ya think?)
Then the angel tells her ‚ÄúChristmas was coming‚ÄĚ and it was going to take a little bit of work on her part. Now, granted, he didn‚Äôt say it in exactly those terms. But we can all agree Mary‚Äôs to-do list suddenly got bigger.
- Get water from the well
- Feed the goats
- Grind the wheat
- Bake the bread
- Have a baby…huh?
Not only have a baby, but have a baby without the benefit of being married. A baby who would be the Savior of the world! Now, that could be a little frightening for any of us. But think about this: she not only wasn‚Äôt married, but it was physically impossible for her to be pregnant. Yea, I’d say that could be a little troubling.
But instead of panicking, what did Mary do?
- She submitted to the plan. In Luke 1:35 it doesn‚Äôt say ‚Äúthe Holy Spirit has come over you,‚ÄĚ it says ‚Äúthe Holy Spirit WILL come over you.‚ÄĚ Yes, the angel had delivered the message, but it wasn‚Äôt a done deal until she submitted to the plan. (Of course, God knew what she would say.)
- She trusted God. She trusted Him with her life! Even as a young girl carrying the Christ-child, she could have been killed because she wasn’t married. And yet, she didn‚Äôt say, ‚ÄúWho‚Äôs going to protect me? Who‚Äôs going to take care of me?‚ÄĚ She simply said, ‚ÄúI am the Lord‚Äôs servant. May it be to me as you have said.‚ÄĚ
In the midst of the fear, Mary claimed peace. Her life was about to turn upside down into chaos, and yet she claimed peace.
Do you feel that life is making your plans for Christmas? Do you feel like the burden is too great? I know sometimes I do. But that‚Äôs when we need to stop, submit to HIS plan, and then trust Him to work out the details. We can be like Mary, we can claim peace at a time when peace is hard to find. But we can‚Äôt do it until we agree to work on His plan and His timetable.
“I am the Lord‚Äôs servant,‚ÄĚ Mary answered. ‚ÄúMay it be to me as you have said. Luke 1:38 (NIV)
Christmas blessings as we celebrate the Gift and the Giver,
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