“LESSONS FROM MARY”
“And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call be blessed.’” Luke 1:46-48
She has been adored, honored, loved, praised, respected and revered throughout the ages. She has been the subject of art, drama, jewelry, music and poetry. She is, of course, Mary the mother of Jesus. Other than her holy Son, she is the star of the Christmas story.
What can we learn from her? While there are many things to be learned from the example of Mary, let us consider three things Mary teaches us.
1. THE REALITY OF SACRED SURPRISES.
When the angel Gabriel first appeared to the Virgin Mary, no one was more surprised than Mary! (Luke 1:29). Should we be surprised when God comes to us in unexpected ways? God came to Moses in a burning bush; to Job in the midst of tragedy; to Daniel in a lion’s den; to shepherds in a field. The question is not that God comes to us. The question is one of our response. This leads to a second reality…
2. THE REALITY OF SELFLESS SERVICE.
While Mary was initially surprised (“troubled”), her primary response was humble obedience (Luke 1:38). Obedience is the most visible sign of our love for God. If we are living in obedience to God, we will recognize His presence, discern God’s will and carry out God’s purpose.
True service involves some level of personal sacrifice. This leads to another point …
3. THE REALITY OF SACRIFICIAL LOVE.
Mary experienced many of the same emotions present day mothers feel in the lives of their children including wonder (Luke 2:19); fear (Matthew 2:13-18); anxiety (Luke 2:48), mild rebuke (Luke 8:19-21); grave concern (Mark 3:21) and sorrow (John 19:25-27).
All in all, Mary was an unassuming person with a major role in the history of redemption. From her we can learn many lessons including remarkable courage, selfless service and sacrificial love.
The world needs more persons like her!
Dear Lord, help us to be more like Mary. Amen.