Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Read: [Meditate on the scripture of the week.]
Reflect: [Use this devotional thought for a moment of reflection. Today’s devotional is written by Romeo Salvador.]
In our gospel passage for the week, the angel of the Lord comes to the virgin Mary with some truly incredible, unbelievable news – she will give birth to the Son of the Most High. The reaction Mary gives is cautious, expected, priceless, understandable and instructional all at the same time.
The Call – “How can this be…?”
Have you ever had to do something you weren’t quite ready for? Maybe it was being in charge while your boss was out of town or maybe it was becoming a parent for the first time. We’ve all been in situations where we felt more unprepared than we did ready.
In this passage, Mary is perplexed and confused. She’s being delivered news she definitely isn’t ready for. Can you imagine what she must have been thinking? “Come again, Gabriel. Son of the Most High? Why me? How’s that even possible?” Her fear, uncertainty, and inadequacy were to be expected. Those emotions are the very same emotions we experience when God calls us to something great. Me Lord? Really? Are you sure I’m capable? Am I ready? Am I even worthy?
Mary had no idea she was destined for a singularly distinctive role. Oftentimes, we too have no clue that God has designed us for very specific purposes. The challenge is recognizing that the details are rarely readily apparent. He sends you His Spirit and tells you not to be afraid. He reminds you that trust and faith are the bedrock of our walks with Him. Believe in this miraculous process of formation and rest assured that the end result is always worth the wait.
The Response – “Here am I…”
Although Mary was afraid, she opened herself up to the unexpected and unimaginable. In spite of the impending disgrace she was sure to experience in her community, she believed.
How different would our worlds look if we consistently offered ourselves to a God who never returns anything void? The real test is being willing to be interrupted. More specifically, kicking to the curb our agendas and our efforts. Cynthia Rigby says, “Christian believers might consider how God’s call does violate the selves we imagined ourselves to be.”
Mary’s response is a model of righteousness. She ascribes more worth to God’s vision for her life than her own. May we allow her refrain to become our life’s mantra.
The Promise – “Nothing will be impossible with God.”
We all long for the outcomes and results of life. But it’s the journey where the magic happens. It’s during the in-between moments where we really find out what our picture of God is.
Figuratively speaking, I’m sure we’d all love to be the chosen ones for bringing Jesus into the world. But would we love everything that came with that calling – disdain from our neighbors, interruption to our neatly organized lives, and an assault on our autonomy?
As we get closer and closer to the arrival of our rescue, never forget that Jesus specializes in the impossible, and He authors the miraculous.
Identify someone or a family who is awaiting a birth or have just been handed some unfortunate, unexpected news. Offer to make dinner for them or maybe watch their kids for a couple hours or an evening. Whatever you do be intentional, be thoughtful, and be creative.