Text: Luke 1:26-38, Job 33:4
Oh, how I love Mary. I love that God chose her. I love that she believed the words of Gabriel with obedience and without hesitation—never asking if, but only “how?” She is chosen, she is key, and indeed Mary is blessed among women!
But the Holy Spirit! This new information about the character of the Holy Spirit as an inseparable member of Almighty God is a game changer. What the angel Gabriel says to Mary teaches us so much about the Spirit’s role and our own relationship with the Father and the Son! You see, the Holy Spirit is a promoter of Christ.
John Piper wrote an essay back in 1984 titled “Christ Conceived By The Holy Spirit,” and in it he says the Holy Spirit’s ministry “is to point away from Himself to the wonder of God the Son and God the Father. Being filled with the Spirit means being filled with love for Christ… The Spirit is shy; He is self-effacing. When we look toward him, he steps back and pushes forward Jesus Christ” (emphasis mine).
How about that?
Come to think of it, Mary’s role imitates the Holy Spirit’s in the most simple, beautiful way, doesn’t it?
While the members of the Trinity are coequal in power and in standing with one another (all equally God), they are also distinct. Most typically we pray to become more like the Son in love, humility and passion for the Father. We look to the Father as the creator of heaven and earth; mighty in power, yet intimate and present. And it’s probably fair to assess that we look to the Spirit primarily as a helper. The Spirit is indeed our Great Helper, but let’s not miss His distinct example as well.
“From the very beginning of Christ’s incarnation the Holy Spirit was quietly doing what needed to be done to put forward Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Savior of man.” -Piper
What would it look like if the same were said of us in our daily lives?
“From the time she wakes up, ___________ is quietly doing what needs to be done to put forward Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Savior of man.”
Reading that over—inserting our names—puts flesh on bones of our calling as Christians. It reminds us that we, like Mary, have been called by God to participate in the coming of His Kingdom in a way that is unique to us and precious to Him. The mother of Jesus daily and quietly put flesh on her faith by “doing what needs to be done to put forth Christ as the Son of God and Savior of man.” Dear friends, we can do the same!
Let’s ask ourselves today: What does this look like, in my real, everyday life? What does it mean to quietly put forth Christ?
As we consider the Holy Spirit’s wonderful, powerful and mysterious role in the birth of Jesus—Emmanuel, God with us—may we also remember that He is our promised Helper (John 14:26). If the Spirit’s role is to ever magnify the Father and Son, and our role as Christians is to do the same, don’t you think the Helper will undergird us in all things? Yes! Thanks be to God.
AND A HAPPY BONUS: You can find a lovely lock screen (created in collaboration with True Cotton Art!) that corresponds with today’s reading in the lock screen section of the She Reads Truth Android or iOS app!
For an added layer of worship during this sweet season of adoration and expectation, we’ve created a Spotify playlist for Advent 2014! You can find the complete SheReadsTruth | O Come Let Us Adore Him playlist at this link, or listen to today’s track on the player below. Enjoy!