Bible Society of South Africa

New Beginnings: Why Mary? – 9 December 2021

By Louise Gevers

Bible text(s)

Mary's Song of Praise

46Mary said,

“My heart praises the Lord;

47my soul is glad because of God my Saviour,

48for he has remembered me, his lowly servant!

From now on all people will call me happy,

49because of the great things the Mighty God has done for me.

His name is holy;

Luke 1:46-49GNBOpen in Bible reader

When we ask, “Why did God choose Mary?” perhaps the clue is in Mary’s response to the angel: “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)

Mary revered God. She was humble and not ashamed to be His servant. Her obedience in agreeing to be part of His miracle-filled plan was immediate, showing her full trust in Him which enabled her to courageously face any obstacles and opposition she would encounter. She knew He would fulfil His promise to her.

Mary had at first been troubled when the angel appeared and announced that she had found favour with God, but, she only asked one question, “But how will this be, since I am a virgin?” (Luke1:34) The angel’s response, “For nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1:38) was all that she needed to hear.

We sometimes gloss over Mary’s marvelous experience of the angel’s appearance and treat it as a fairytale, not a real-life event, but if we do we miss the significance of the miraculous new beginning poised over her life; Gabriel was no fairy godmother granting three wishes – this was a message from God! And it was no small religious requirement he was asking her to perform: Mary would make a sacrifice asked of no other woman which would consume her whole life – which she accepted willingly.

Motherhood is a high calling that is often underestimated, but God placed on Mary the highest calling of motherhood imaginable. In choosing her for this unique honour of mother to the baby born to be the Saviour of the world, He chose a person who would take pride in her child, who would love him with an integrity that would teach him her values, most importantly obedience, but also her servant heart, loving, reverent spirit, and complete reliance on God. Mary’s values would play a part in nurturing Jesus which He would display later in His own life, equipped through the faith He saw in her.

In sacrificing any rights she had to protect herself, even her reputation, and implicitly trusting, “that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28) she fulfilled God’s will. What Mary’s faith brought into being was Immanuel: God with us – a new experience of God – and Hope previously unknown, not only for herself, but for the world.

If Mary could be faithful to the calling God, her champion, placed on her heart, couldn’t we be faithful too? As we ponder God’s will for us this Advent, let us reflect on (Luke 1:46-55), and may He fill us with Mary’s unreserved delight at what He is doing for us this Christmas.

Prayer: Lord, You “fill the hungry with good things”. Please empower me to humbly and obediently fulfill your purposes in my life. Amen

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