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“Be it unto me, according to your word.” A teenage girl spoke those words of surrender more than 2,000 years ago. Mary uttered those words when the Angel Gabriel appeared to tell her that she was to be Jesus’ mother.
Now before we imagine some grand vision of how awesome and glorious that life would be — mother of the savior of the world — let’s stop to think about the difficulty of this calling.
First, consider the complications of Mary’s newfound identity. Can you imagine having to tell your parents that you were pregnant with God’s son? Can you imagine their response? They likely thought she was crazy and trying to cover up some disobedient behavior.
What about Mary’s friends and peers? How do you think they responded? The news of unwed pregnancy is a lot more common today. In Jesus’ day, however, being unmarried and pregnant was completely shunned. I’m pretty sure Mary was teased and ridiculed harshly for a long time — as was her son.
Finally, think about Joseph. Unlike the other two scenarios, we know how he responded. Scripture says that when she told him, he didn’t want to marry her. Humanly speaking, who could blame him? However, after a visit from the Angel Gabriel, he changed his tune.
Most Christians today just fly past all those complications. We picture Mary’s life as being full of dignity and honor. In our mind’s eye, it’s only at the cross that we picture her as anything less than pleased with life. In reality, Mary’s newfound identity gave her little dignity and honor — at least here on this earth.
With that in mind, let’s look back at Mary’s response to the angel: “Behold the maidservant of the Lord. Be it unto me according to your word.” Mary didn’t flinch nor shrink back from what was ahead. She didn’t complain about becoming an outcast in her hometown. She didn’t ask the angel to tell God to hold off until she had gotten married. That way, all of this wouldn’t appear so scandalous. No. In complete trust and with total surrender, Mary gave her life over to God to use as he desired. Mary trusted God’s way implicitly, knowing the deep, life-changing joy of walking step by step in his love would far outweigh anything else life could throw at her.
So let’s join Mary this Christmas, shall we? Let’s make “Be it unto me, according to your word” our standard. Let’s replace any fear of God’s will with the fearlessness of trusting in his plan and his love for us. Deal? Deal.
Prayer: “Be it unto me, Jesus. I trust that you are good. I trust that you love me. I trust you are doing what’s best for me. I trust you are molding me into the image of Christ. I surrender, Jesus. I surrender.”
Steven and Belinda Kirk write the “Everyday Grace” devotional for the Johnstonian News. Reach them at 919-449-5745 and firstname.lastname@example.org.