Take a minute to read the account of Christ’s “Birth Announcement”:
“Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, ‘Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!’
But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.’
Then Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I do not know a man?’
And the angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.’…Then Mary said, ‘Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.’” (Luke 1:26-35, 38)
Growing in Humility
So often we struggle with God and postpone our submission. And even in Mary’s case, a rash of human emotions and responses probably raced through her mind. And with good reason!
- Wonder—Mary didn’t understand (verse 34).
- Fear—Mary was troubled (verses 29-30).
- Distress—Mary probably knew the penalty for pregnancy outside marriage was death by stoning (see Leviticus 20:10).
- Troubled—How could she explain this to others? To her family? To Joseph, her spouse-to-be?
- Questioning—Mary was a virgin and unmarried. How could or would this happen?
But, in the end, Mary submitted to God’s mysterious will and purpose from the heart.
Beloved, follow Mary’s example. Cultivate a humble heart—a heart of pure faith. In essence Mary’s heart reply to God was, “I live to serve You. I desire no life apart from You. I will do whatever You ask because I belong to You. I will do whatever You ask, quietly and without question. Let it be to me according to Your word.” May that be our heart’s reply this Christmas season—and all year long—as well.
God, You are my reason for living, my salvation, my comfort, my provider, my love. I choose today to follow You every step of the way. When the way gets hard and I falter, encourage me and give me strength. Amen
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What will I do to cultivate a humble heart before God? Read Scripture, pray, worship….
Cultivate a humble heart—a heart of pure faith.