Prepare to Listen. Light the pink candle and the first 2 purple candles. Be still with this reminder: The Lord’s mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
Prayerfully Read Luke 1:26-38
26In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.
28And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.’ 29But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. 31And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ 34Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’ 35The angel said to 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 holy; he will be called Son of God. 36And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. 37For nothing will be impossible with God.’ 38Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.
I was five when I first heard Mary’s story. I wanted to be her and bring God’s Son into the world. I had no idea what it meant. Years later I learned the word Godbearer, which means one who brings God into the world. That’s what Mary did and what we can do too.
Mary, an unknown teenager of lowly origins, living in poverty in Galilee, was an unlikely choice. But here’s the thing, with nothing to recommend her, God chose her for the most significant event in the history of salvation—to be the bearer of God in human flesh; to bring God into the world; to be a Godbearer. Unlike Gideon and Jeremiah, Mary didn’t protest. She simply responded with, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” God makes a habit of choosing the unlikely, the lowly, the unrecognized, the inexperienced, ignoring the rich and powerful with their track records of successfully getting stuff done. Humble obedience is all it takes.
The fact that God chooses the unlikely means that none of us can claim to be unqualified. God delights in reversing worldly expectations by appointing the least to bring God into the world, to be Godbearers. I guess my childish desire to be like Mary wasn’t mere childish ignorance. I wanted to be a Godbearer. Still do. How about you?
What do you think it means for you to be a Godbearer in your world today?
Respond to Jesus
Lord Jesus you came into the world through the unknown virgin child, Mary who was willing to submit to your will. Help me follow her example and be a Godbearer today, bringing Jesus into the world again and again and again. Amen.
Live obediently. Be a Godbearer.