Under-Blessed & Over-Committed

Since returning from our trip to Israel in February, I have been sharing my ten most significant insights of our trip.  This week I will be writing about insight number six: Like Mary, may I be under-blessed and overcommitted.
On the second day of our journey we had the pleasure of traveling to Nazareth.  At the time Jesus was born, Nazareth, a small village of 20-30 homes had only been in existence for about 100 years. The tiny town of Nazareth in Jesus day is now covered in its entirety by the Basilica of the Annunciation which was built by the Franciscans. Nazareth is now mostly an Arab community of nearly 66,000 people.
The story about Mary found in Luke 1 is one of my favorite stories in the Bible, not only because of the significance to Mary, but also for its promises to you and me.
26In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” 29Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”34″How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. 37For nothing is impossible with God.” 8″I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.
Let me highlight some significant truths from this text.
By God’s grace he makes himself known to us through his only begotten Son. In this particular case Mary was the recipient of God’s favor. By his mercy and grace, God also reveals his favor towards you and me, not only with the gift of salvation, but also with the honor and privilege of bearing his name.
Even though she was the recipient of God’s favor, the effect of Mary becoming pregnant before she was married would have caused people to perceive her as “under-blessed.” May each one of us humbly receive God’s invitation to join him in mission.
While Mary is the only person to physically give birth to the Christ child, by faith and through the power of the Holy Spirit, you and I also have Christ living in us. God’s call on our lives requires our submission in order that he might live his life through us.
Becoming pregnant and giving birth to Jesus seemed impossible to Mary since she had never had intercourse with Joseph. Often times God gives us assignments that seem impossible. God’s glory is displayed when his power is made perfect in our weakness. Mary’s story reminds us that nothing is impossible with God!
Although the calling seems overwhelming to this young, innocent girl from the tiny town of Nazareth, Mary surrenders herself and commits to fulfilling her role as God’s servant. May we too, surrender ourselves as humble servants, giving God permission to do whatever he chooses with our lives.
Under-blessed and over-committed, Mike

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *