Well here we are in the final week of advent. The weeks have flown by haven't they. This final week will see many of us heading out to Carol services. Whether traditional or modern may they all reflect the true reason for this time of year, I pray that God will visit all by his Holy Spirit and that many will see, many will hear and many will put their trust in the Lord.
Mary is the focus of this final week. As she stands she is the most famous woman in the bible, next to Eve. Mary has a lot to give us as we look at her life. She Came from a humble background, she was not rich, she was not from royalty and she had no desire to be anything other than who she was. As a woman betrothed, living life one day at a time ready to be the best 'Mary' that she could be to her 'Joseph'. This was who God was looking for, this is who God had spoke of through his prophet Isaiah, in chapter 7 v 14, "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel".
This was the time, God had been silent for 400 years. A mere blink of time for the eternal God who created the heavens and the earth, but generations had passed and many waited hopefully for the birth of the Messiah.
It is no wonder that Mary rejoiced after she was visited by the Angel Gabriel. Once everything had sunk in. That is truley her innermost reaction, her overflow, her Spirit rejoiced in God, for he had seen the humility of her heart and knew that he could complete the Messiahs prophesied birth through her. Begining and end God always knows.
She was blessed, how can we ever remove that from her, I know that we make a distinction in our Worship, as we should, and focus on God alone, but Mary was blessed, she was chosen by God to carry Jesus in her womb. She rejoiced and glorified God with her lips and her spirit, her mind and emotions, she chose to worship God.
Mary Acknowledged God from scripture in her song. Much of what she sang was already within her, she was familiar with scripture, with the Psalms. Verse 50 in her song relates directly to Psalm 104v17, and
Verse 51 to Psalm 136v12. Mary knew the word of God. Gods song was within her and was overflowing out of her as Jesus was within her by the Holy Spirit, Jesus Immanuel concieved supernaturaly, keeping Mary a Virgin until after Jesus birth and her marriage.
She recognised herself as well, who she had been and who she was at that time. Mary knew that God had chosen her because of her humility, she wasn't proud in proclaiming this, she was astounded, and humbled even more, to paraphrase, "Me, you chose me, I have nothing of myself that I should be noticed or recognised my Lord, In me there is no desire for fame or riches, I am just Mary, being the best me I can be for my betrothed". She recognised who she was in God, she understood that she was blessed and rejoiced fully in that.
As we approach Christmas day, can we reflect on what that means? Can we look at Mary, who carried God incarnate and never boasted, who was empty of self and full of thanksgiving? Chosen by God, as are you, yes you, as you are reading this, God chose you to be; to just be who you are in him, allow God to do the rest, as Jesus said, "seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all the rest will be added unto you". Be youself in his Kingdom, seek his face and read his word, pray and be. The rest will follow. God is God after all.
Merry Christmas and Gods Richest Blessings for you and yours in 2016.
46 And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”