By Darlene Lucas ...
All through the Bible we see how God lavishes his grace upon those who believe in him and often shows favor to the most unlikely individuals who are meek, lower in social status but open to His word. Like others, I have read the story of the Virgin Mary many times, and yet for some reason this advent season I am intrigued by this young woman’s incredible faith. To totally accept this huge responsibility to conceive a child, a child that will become the fulfillment of all God’s promises, “He will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). I wonder if Mary truly realized the magnitude of the charge she so willing accepted.
I am in awe of Mary’s ability to move forward in faith and trust. Not knowing what the future will hold or the price she will have to pay in being chosen to be the mother of the chosen one. Pastor Alan shared that Mary’s response “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word” allowed the big explosion of God’s love to begin and continues in all who believe in him even today. Mary’s “yes” to the angel Gabriel is a strong message to all Christians that with God, nothing is impossible even when things are difficult and challenging.
During this advent season I have been more eager to do God’s will. I have come to realize that whatever God commands, he will always provide the guidance, strength and resources needed to respond. I have a choice to either surrender to his loving grace or resist, to do it my way. It is when I resist that I know I am not stepping forward in faith and trust or believing in God’s promises. This advent season has been one of great insight and awareness of God’s abundant grace and mercy. May we be blessed this advent season by knowing that God is faithful to His promises today, as He was with Mary.
May we all strive to live a grace-filled life as Mary did, believe in God’s promises and say “yes” to God’s will and plan for our lives.
Listen to this sermon here!