Can you imagine an angel appearing before you? Blinding light, exploding presence, maybe booming voice; who could stand?
Then, can you imagine telling him, yes?
I previously posted an imagination piece about Gabriel's visitation to Mary. I love reading and writing fictional renderings of biblical stories because it helps me to put the story that I may have read over and over into a different perspective. It helps me to connect with the characters of history as the real people that they were; with feelings, hopes, dreams, passions just like us.
So what about Mary?
How would you have responded to the angel's message?
In Mary's day, pregnancy while being unmarried was met with stoning. If someone noticed that she was pregnant before she was married, she would be as good as dead.
How do you think her family responded? What about Joseph? What about her dreams of being his wife, carrying his children, and making his home? What if he did not believe her? Would he condemn her? Would he divorce her?
Mary had the odds stacked against her. And yet...
She fell to her knees and declared herself, "...the bondslave of the Lord;"
She opened herself up to be used by God, in spite of the world.
She said yes, in spite of what they might say.
She gave her hands to receive, no matter what the cost.
She surrendered all, and believed that God's promise would overcome.
Mary believed the angel, she believed that the seed growing in her womb was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. She believed that He was the Promised One. Immanuel. God with us. God with her.
What about you?
God has called each of us as His children to carry Himself for the world. To surrender ourselves so that His presence might indwell within us. To die to ourselves, that we might receive new life within. To carry Him, to spread His presence, the news of His love, to make disciples.
Are you ready to surrender everything, to give up your dreams and desires; open yourself to carry Jesus?
Immanuel. God with us. God with you.
He promises to never leave you or forsake you. He promises to give you the desires of your heart, if you will but delight in Him. Do you trust Him?
God used a heart surrendered of a lowly teenage girl from the tiny country of Israel to bless the entire world with His Promised One. If you surrender your heart, your passions, your desires, you follow in her footsteps; to carry Jesus and bless the world.