And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God… For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:35-38).
The approach of Christmas feels like a wave of busyness and to-do lists crashing us to shore. How can we pause and reflect on the birth of our Messiah, the true hope and Savior of the world? Let’s step back in time to consider how Mary handled the earth-shattering news that as a virgin, she would conceive via the Holy Spirit, to bear the ‘Son of the Most High” (Luke 1:32).
In Luke, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to foretell the birth of Jesus to a virgin teenage girl. Gabriel reveals how Jesus will come into the world and how he answers the prophecies of old: “The Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:32-33). This message was life-changing for God’s people who had been waiting for hundreds of years for their Messiah to come and to rescue them from Roman oppression.
The messy part of this good news falls on Mary. She was a virgin betrothed to be married, so while the message from Gabriel was incredible and exciting, the personal impact to her was significant. Likely she expected suspicion and ridicule from those around her for becoming pregnant out of marriage. After hearing this overwhelming news, Mary’s response to the angel Gabriel is a shining example of faith and discipleship: “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38).
While facing the reality that God’s revelation from Gabriel would require her to sacrifice her body, reputation, and future, Mary’s response is beautiful … let it be. These three words known as Mary’s fiat (Latin for “let it be”) mark the welcoming of the Christmas story, the arrival of God in human form. Instead of putting her hope in controlling her life and the plans she had made, Mary surrenders to God’s plan.
How can we learn from Mary’s response to God? How can we imitate her quick willingness to respond to God with a heart posture that says, “Not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42)? In a day when Christians are often ostracized and misunderstood, it’s imperative we are quick to respond to the outward pressures of the world by trusting God’s ways are best.
As we ride the wave to Christmas Day, may we consider how God is inviting us to put our hope in him and his story in our lives. I pray we each find ways to tell a hurting world about our loving God who took on human form to save sinful humanity. Even if we face persecution, may we be brave and quick to say, “Let it be.”
All for God’s glory – Kaitlyn Wurzbach