As You Say

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People I know are all over the map of emotions – joyful, grieving, fulfilled, empty, hopeful, despairing. How is your heart today? Perhaps you are afraid to let yourself think about that question. What is being covered over by the activities, the superficial laughter, the religious words? If you admit to yourself that life is not as you hoped it might be, you think you may not be able to recover. You are not the first to doubt, to feel alone, to wonder why!  But, in the Christmas story there is a person who made a choice to trust!

There is a part of Mary’s story that inspires the hurting, the wondering, the fearful, the doubting. This young woman, probably still in her teens, is visited in her village by a messenger from the Lord. “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.” (Luke 1:28-29, NIV)  The angel goes on to tell her that she is pregnant, not by natural means, but by God’s will, and that she will bear the Messiah. Her life is about to turn inside out. Her pending marriage will be put at risk. She will leave her home and go live with her relative, Elizabeth, to avoid the scandal that would break over her when it became obvious she was with child.

And, how does she respond to this? That is where I find words to hold onto. “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.” (Luke 1:38, NIV)

Her faith causes her to submit to God, to accept His message. Mary becomes part of the work of salvation, not just the womb in which Jesus was carried, but a part of His ministry. She nurtured the Son of God. She was a witness to His miracles, stood at the foot of His cross, knew His Resurrection life. She turned belief to faith.

Do not miss the subtle implications of the story. There is an interplay of the will of God and the will of Mary. She is ‘highly favored,’ though we are not told of any specific reasons that she found this favor. The ordinary young woman, nobody really, from nowhere, received grace, God’s unmerited favor. But, it is clear that she knew God, that her heart and mind were inclined to love and serve Him. God looked on her with His grace. She looked on Him with her faith. And, we know the rest.

God sees you today! He sees the good, the bad, the successes, the failures, the up’s and the down’s. The good news for you (and me!) is that He sees us through eyes of love and offers grace. Just settle yourself in that statement. The prayer of Paul reminds us that when we receive the grace, we find love, an amazing love. He says I pray for your understanding to increase “so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—…”   That love is not just to make us feel warm, fuzzy, affirming emotions. It is transformative!  When we join Mary in faithful submission, entering into His love – we are “filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17-19, NIV)

Many turn the words ‘submission’ and ‘surrender’ into ugly ones because they only think of the cruel who exploit, the powerful who oppress. God is not that, dear friend. He is good. He is not tame, nor is His will always comfortable, but He is right and He is love. We can TRUST Him with our whole heart, soul, body, and mind.  Will we, like Mary, say “as You have said”?  Become a participant in the Divine plan that He is working in you. You, too, are ‘highly favored.’

Take this word from the Word to heart. Savor it. “We ask God to give you a complete understanding of what he wants to do in your lives, and we ask him to make you wise with spiritual wisdom. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and you will continually do good, kind things for others. All the while, you will learn to know God better and better. We also pray that you will be strengthened with his glorious power so that you will have all the patience and endurance you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father, who has enabled you to share the inheritance that belongs to God’s holy people, who live in the light.” (Colossians 1:9-12, NLT)

I ask once more – Will we, like Mary, say “as You have said”?
May you be blessed with joy unspeakable, peace overflowing, and love unending. Thanks for reading along this year in these daily musing on the Word.

CoffeeBreak With The Word will be back after a Christmas break. Merry Christmas!

___________

Mary Did You Know
(a spoken word presentation of this song.
Invest 5 minutes to watch it. It’s beautiful!)

Mary did you know
That your baby boy
Would one day walk on water
Mary did you know
That your baby boy
Would save our sons and daughters
Did you know
That your baby boy
Has come to make you new
This Child that you delivered
Will soon deliver you

 Mary did you know
That your baby boy
Would give sight to the blind man
Mary did you know
That your baby boy
Would calm a storm with His hand
Did you know
That your baby boy
Has walked where angels trod
And when you kiss your little baby
You’ve kissed the face of God
Oh Mary did you know

 The blind will see
The deaf will hear
The dead will live again
The lame will leap
The dumb will speak
The praises of the Lamb

 Oh Mary did you know
That your baby boy
Is Lord of all creation
Mary did you know
That your baby boy
Will one day rule the nations
Did you know
That your baby boy
Is heaven’s perfect Lamb
And the sleeping Child you’re holding
Is the great I Am

Oh Mary oh

Buddy Greene | Mark Lowry © 1991, 1993 Rufus Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) Curb Word Music (Admin. by WC Music Corp.)

CCLI License # 810055

 

 

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