Have A Mary Christmas
Shortly after college, I volunteered at a Florence Crittenton home in Charlotte where young adolescents lived during their pregnancies. They were all young and most of their parents had nothing to do with them because of their choices. I would spend one night a week with them and got to know some of the girls. If I had to give one word to describe them it would be, "scared". They were afraid of the future. They were afraid of what their life would be like. They were scared of giving birth. They were scared of what people thought. And they were older than Mary!
I remember hearing a Christmas musical in which Mary sang, “If the Lord has spoken, I must do as he commands. I will put my life into his hands; I will trust him with my life.” That sums up Mary’s response when she said to the angel, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me according to your word.” Wow! What a beautiful response of faith. It had to be a difficult response! Mary was to put her life on hold, forget her plans, think about her reputation, think about Joseph's response, be open to humiliation and there was no way she could fathom a virgin birth. And think about how young she was.
Mary took God at His Word and accepted His will for her life. She surrendered to God! And because of that she became the mother of Jesus Christ, her Lord and Savior. Her willingness to God's plan gave her a place of privilege in history!
If we want to celebrate the birth of Jesus this Christmas, we need to be like Mary and surrender our lives to Him. Not our will but His will be done. Luke 22: 42, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." We sometimes have to say, even if includes hurt, illness, inconvenience in my life. We can ask for God's grace to do like Mary and surrender to Him.
Mark 10: 28, " Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you! " In verse 29, Jesus says, "Truly I tell you, no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel." In other words, our surrender is for the sake of the Gospel. It was not for the purpose of what the disciples would get. It is not for the purpose of what we will get. It is not about us.
Romans 6: 19, "Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness." If we yield to God instead of fighting Him then He will fight for us! We will find ourselves living with hope and expectation knowing He is directing us.
It is hard to lay it all down. We have our own plans and sometimes they get changed. We have to trust God. Ecclesiastes 3: 1, 4, 11, " There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:...a time to weep and a time to laugh...He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end." He makes everything beautiful in His time.