The story of the angel appearing to Mary is recorded in Luke’s gospel in the first chapter. Mary, a very young girl in the little village of Nazareth, lived far away from the power centers of the world. Because God chooses those that He wants, it may seem surprising to us the way He works. Yet, we are aware that God always has a plan! In those days, everyone would have considered the most important things happening in the world was happening in Rome. Caesar Augustus ruled the Roman Empire. Yet behind the scenes in the little town of Bethlehem out on the backside of the Roman Empire, God was changing history. This reminds us that significant events of life do not always happen in the spotlight. God does some of His most notable work in out of the way places and with people no one else would considered.
Mary received an Amazing Announcement: Mary, you have been highly favored; you will give birth to the Savior of the world. Mary said, “How can this be?” The angel answered: “Nothing is impossible with God.” This is one of the messages of Advent: It may be impossible for you and me, but there is nothing too hard for God. Do you believe that nothing is too hard for God? I know we say we think it is true, yet do we live our lives as though we believe it to be a fact that applies to us and our challenges?
Mary was given an amazing assignment. The assignment to give birth to the Messiah and to raise Him in her home. There never has and never will be an assignment of this magnitude. Today if we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, He will come and live within us. Our assignment will never in any way be like that of Mary, yet He still asks us to be His witnesses. Have you accepted this assignment?
Mary modeled amazing acceptance. She had to push past all of her questions and fears! How would she explain this to her parents, to Joseph and to the people of her town? Yet she displayed unconquerable confidence in God. “May it be to me as you have said,” was her reply. Confidence in the one who makes the promise causes one to live with a peace that does indeed pass all understanding.
Mary models some Advent truths. First, when one hears the Word of the Lord, are we open to accept it regardless of the change that it will bring to our lives?
Mary models that when God gives us an assignment, we must be open to His work in our lives.
Mary models a calm assurance and trust in God and His plans for our lives.
May you and I learn these Advent lessons from Mary.