Begin this new day by praying this prayer out loud. As you are able, consider kneeling as a physical expression of your commitment to Jesus as Lord of your life and the one you desire to lead you this day. Alternatively, you might consider placing a hand over your heart as you pray this prayer.
We come to you with great anticipation and preparation. Open our minds, open our hearts, open ourselves to what you want us to hear and experience today as we read your word.
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be calledthe Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”
38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
One of my favorite Christmas songs is “Mary Did You Know?” It questions if Mary understood what the angel’s herald was telling her or what it would mean for her life and the life of her baby. We really don’t know if she truly comprehended or understood any of this.
Instead of asking what Mary understood about the details, this year I have been thinking about what she did know. Mary knew she was a servant and instrument of God. She also knew that God was in control of her life and the situation she found herself in at the moment. So certain was Mary of God’s faithfulness, she said “yes”. She referred to herself in one version as the Lord’s “bondslave”. She totally submitted to the control and will of God in her life which changed the whole world. Which changed my world and yours.
How are you responding to life’s uncertainties?
What did Mary know that we need to adapt to our own lives?
When you are finished with your time of reflection, close out this time with this prayer.
Lord, Make advent real in our hearts.
Never have we needed Your joy and peace more than now.
Thank You for the gift of Jesus, our Immanuel, the Word made flesh.
Lord, we need Your peace and joy. We know that peace on earth can only come when hearts find peace with You. You are still our Joy. You are still our Peace. And we still celebrate You as Lord—this Christmas and always.
Sign up to receive an email notification whenever a new devotional is posted to The First 15.