Day 3

Mary of Nazareth

Luke 1:26-38, Luke 2:1-7, John 2:1-12, John 19:25-27

BY Ellen L. Taylor

When I was young, my church put on a Christmas pageant every year. At age 8, I was given the extreme honor of performing a solo for that year’s pageant. My shining moment came as Mary and Joseph were traveling to Bethlehem, looking for somewhere safe to stay so Mary could give birth to Jesus. As Mary and Joseph came upon the inn my character was “working” at, I burst into song, repeating over and over, “No room. No room.”

That’s it. “No room.” My twenty seconds of fame. (Twenty might be generous.)

This follows the story I learned about Mary growing up: She is visited by an angel and told she will give birth to Jesus. She is afraid Joseph, her fiancé, will leave her, but he is visited by an angel too! They travel on a donkey to Bethlehem for a census, and while they are there, the time comes for Mary to give birth. But there isn’t anywhere for them to stay! (Time for my solo—“No room. No room.”) And so when Jesus is born, He is laid in a manger, a food trough for animals. He grows up, and that’s when the story really begins.

For the most part, this was all I’d really learned about Mary. But one of the best parts of Mary’s story actually comes at the very beginning, when she is first visited by the angel. When the angel tells her she will be the mother of Jesus, God’s own Son, she is quick to question, ”How can this be, since I have not had sexual relations with a man?” (Luke 1:34). Mary was likely confused and concerned, given her engagement to Joseph, as any young woman would be upon receiving such news. But the angel counters her confusion and fear with a reminder of the power of the Lord her God. He tells Mary that the child she is carrying will be called the Son of God. And then he reminds her of her cousin Elizabeth, and the son she is now carrying after years of infertility. Nothing is impossible with God.

Mary’s response to the angel is simple and powerful: “I am the Lord’s servant… May it happen to me as you have said” (Luke 1:38). Before Jesus was even born, His mother was committed to being a servant of the Lord. Even though her life was being turned upside down, her own plans disrupted, and she was unsure of the future she thought she would have with Joseph, one thing remained true: she was a servant of the Lord. And because she trusted in the Lord, she knew that His plans for her life were better than the ones she had herself.

In moments of uncertainty, when we’re told that something will likely turn our life upside down, we may try to cope with it by hanging on to whatever sense of control we think we have at that time. We try to keep a tight, white-knuckled grip on what we think we know to be best for us; those are easy reactions that offer a false sense of security. But Mary does the exact opposite—she lets go. And with open hands she gives herself to God’s plan.

Post Comments (71)

71 thoughts on "Mary of Nazareth"

  1. Kelsey Maureen says:

    I have been having a rough time with the changes in my life. I was reminded today of Mary and how her entire life was flipped upside down. It shows me that God’s plan is WAY better than my plan. “May It Be Done To Me According To Your Will”

  2. Ja'Mecia Laws says:

    Let it be as your word God.

  3. Trisha Bilbrey says:

    The last paragraph speaks clearly to me. Sometimes I hang on so tight to things that if I let go, God always finds his way in to lead me in the right direction. Having courage to trust in him because he knows best, can be challenging.

  4. Hailee Madison says:

    If only these days it was as easy as a visit from an Angel lol. Now I pray to learn how to hear God’s voice.

  5. Sheri Sullivan says:

    Learning to let go of what I think I can control and allowing God to control. ❤️

  6. Bella Iris says:

    I really want to have Mary’s attitude towards God. I want to let go and begin to depend on God’s plan. This reflection is so appropriate for me at this moment because I’m trying to find the path I will follow in my life from now on. I’m sure God holds my hand in the midst of uncertainty and all I have to do is surrender to His will.

    So I make this statement mine today: “May it be done to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38

    I loved reading this today! And it’s nice to be part of a group of women who want to know and obey God more and more each day.

  7. Janet Roberts says:

    Lord , I pray that each day you give me a heart that desires more of you and that use me to serve others .

  8. Autumn LRouse-Williams says:

    Jesus help me trust you with all of my existence and stand strong on your promise .

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