Advent Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries
December 11, 2017
And Mary said, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.
~ Luke 1:38 (ESV)
Mary says "Yes" to the angel in a beautiful way: "I am the servant of the Lord." She surrenders to God's will for her life-Let God do whatever He wants to do; it's okay with me.
Our culture today talks a lot about "service" and "servant leadership." They've become popular buzzwords. But for all that, we aren't really that good about taking on the role of a servant. Perhaps we are too used to thinking in terms of our own rights. To willingly lay our rights aside to obey someone else, even God-well, that doesn't feel right to a lot of people.
But that's what God was asking Mary to do. To lay aside her dreams for her marriage, which would now be turned upside down. To lay aside her plans for the next 20 years or so and devote herself to raising a child-one that would definitely have special needs and challenges she couldn't even begin to predict. To lay aside control over her own body-the most intimate freedom anyone has.
And in a single sentence, Mary did it. Why? For love. For love of the Lord who had made her, sustained her, and was about to redeem her and all people. Mary was overjoyed to have the chance to serve this God she loved so much.
And her Son Jesus echoed that love but a thousand times greater when He, too, laid aside hopes and dreams and control of His own body in order to rescue all of us from the power of sin and death. Paul described how Jesus "emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross" (Philippians 2:7-8). Through His death and resurrection, Jesus served all of us in the lowliest and most wonderful way. And now He offers us, too, the chance to serve others just as He has served-in love.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I am Your servant. Teach me to serve You with joy and to serve others with Your love. Amen.
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Mary says "Yes" to the angel in a beautiful way...