Mary Said Yes

The Annunciation painting at Señora de Loreto de la Bahía chapel Goliad, Texas. Notice the rattlesnake, Satan, in the lower right corner.

When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her she was highly favored by God, Mary said yes. Not only did the mother of Christ say yes to delivering the Son of the LORD Most High, Mary said yes to a whole lot more.

Have you ever considered that? Have you ever considered what saying yes cost Mary?

Considering the laws of the day, Mary knew saying yes might cost her the future she planned with Joseph. It might cost her his love, his devotion, his protection. Saying yes could very easily cost Mary her life once news of her un-wed pregnancy got out in the public.

For certain it cost her reputation and countless wagging fingers and tongues. Don’t you think?

Nevertheless, Mary the mother of Christ willingly laid down her hopes and dreams to be the vessel The Almighty Father could use to fulfill his plan of salvation to a lost and dying world. 

By saying yes to God’s plan, Mary said yes to traveling to Bethlehem on the back of a donkey at a very pregnant nine months. She said yes to giving birth to God’s son in a cold, dank, stable away from the care of her mother and other family members.

She said yes to having strangers see her child before those close to her saw him. She said yes to the bewilderment and awe Jesus’ birth created. She said yes when Joseph told her God said they should leave and flee to Egypt. Egypt? Hadn’t God warned his people not to go down to Egypt?

Mary said yes when her son left home to become an itinerant preacher.

She continued to say yes to God even when her yes led to the foot of the cross where her precious dearly loved son was brutally murdered by the very ones he died to save.

I imagine some of Mary’s yeses weren’t easy. Still. The one highly favored, highly blessed, by the Lord trusted him enough to say yes when Gabriel appeared to her in Nazareth. And she kept right on saying yes.

Oh that we would have such faith and trust to lay down our own hopes and dreams to  answer yes to each of God’s opportunities to be part of his plans and purposes.

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The angel came to her and said, “Peace be with you! The Lord is with you and has greatly blessed you!”

 Mary was deeply troubled by the angel’s message, and she wondered what his words meant. The angel said to her, “Don’t be afraid, Mary; God has been gracious to you. You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High God. The Lord God will make him a king, as his ancestor David was, and he will be the king of the descendants of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end!”

“I am the Lord’s servant,” said Mary; “may it happen to me as you have said.” And the angel left her. Luke 1:28-33, 38 (GNT)

You can find my December Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Important Enough

In a time in history when women had very little value in society, and were considered property of their fathers and husbands, the book of Matthew included the names of five woman important enough to be recorded in Jesus’ genealogy.

Tamar. A Gentile, whose desire to be part of God’s people and share in the promise given to Judah, pushed her to resort to trickery to have her father-in-law honor his promise to her. (Genesis 38)

Rahab. A Gentile prostitute living in Jericho, who believed in the God who led his people out of Egypt, was saved when she helped two Israelite spies escape. (Joshua 2)

Ruth. Another Gentile. A woman from Moab who chose to identify herself with God’s people when she accompanied her mother-in-law, Naomi, to Bethlehem after both were widowed. (Ruth)

Bathsheba. Dead Uriah’s wife. (2 Samuel 11)

Mary. The virgin chosen to carry within her womb the Son of God. Of whom was born Jesus. (Luke 1)

Five women. Five different backgrounds. Five different stories. Different personal lives. Different status. Different nationality. It didn’t matter to God. He used each of them, regardless. God’s grace crossed man-made boundaries. It crossed sins. It crossed loss.

What did each woman have? Faith. Faith in a God bigger than themselves. Faith in a God who took their brokenness and brought something wonderful out of it. Faith in a God who deals in redemption and grace. Faith in a God who is faithful even when we are not. Faith in a God who keeps his promises even when we do not.

God’s still in the business of restoration, redemption, and grace. He still uses broken and battered people to achieve his goals. He still loves unconditionally even when we may not be so lovable at times.

Feeling broken, cracked, rejected, defeated?

Just as God used these five women, he can use us. We can all be redeemed, and put back together through his grace. All we have to do is have faith enough to say yes to God, and his son, Jesus Christ.

Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah (whose mother was Tamar). Salmon was the father of Boaz (whose mother was Rahab). Boaz was the father of Obed (whose mother was Ruth). Obed was the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon (whose mother was Bathsheba, the widow of Uriah). Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Mary gave birth to Jesus, who is called the Messiah. Matthew 1:3, 5-6, 16

I wish you well.

Sandy

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