Friday, May 28, 2010

Mary: The Character Of Commitment

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” “Nothing is impossible with God.” “I am the Lord's servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Luke 1:34, 37,38 (NIV)

Perhaps the greatest commitment made by any human being was the commitment that Mary made to trust God’s will in giving birth to His Son. How would you react if told you were to bear the Son of God? We see in Mary's reaction not anything strange at all; in fact, something very familiar. She acted much as people today do when they come face to face with the fact that Jesus has come into the world... that Jesus is willing to come into their world. Mary goes through three stages... confusion, questions, commitment.

Mary begins with Confusion

She was confused, because she didn't understand who God was. Her great fear made her want to draw away. The angel helps her to understand, helps us to see: if you're afraid of God, you don't understand who He is. God’s angel clears up our confusion by saying, “Don't be afraid.” How needed those words are in so many of our lives. Fear, in pushing us away from God, is pulling our lives apart. “You will give birth to a son.” Truth calmed her fear and changed it to wonder.

Mary moves from Confusion to Questions - “How will this be?”

Mary was saying, “Lord, I'm not qualified.” She had as good a reason to say that as anyone in history. What the angel was telling her was impossible! However good or poor the excuse, the lesson that's needed is the same: stop looking at yourself and start looking at God. “How will this be?” Go ahead and ask! God answers our questions. He helps us with our doubts.

Mary moves from Questions to Commitment

In verse 38 you see an attitude in Mary that shines for us. Commitment seems to leap from the page as you read this verse. She makes her decision, “Be it done to me.” William Barclay writes that the world’s most common prayer is, “Thy will be changed.” Mary refused the world's most common prayer and prayed the world's greatest prayer: “Thy will be done.”

Family Discussion Question: From confusion, to questions, to commitment; a journey that millions have taken when faced with that baby in a manger. Where do you need to take the next step in that journey today?

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