Earlier this week I shared the following verses with our church staff, and I am still in awe of all God did by bringing Jesus to earth as well as using Mary and Joseph. Read through the verses. I will share some thoughts afterwards.
LUKE 1 NLT
35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. 36 What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. 37 For the word of God will never fail.” 38 Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.
42 Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed. 43 Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me? 44 When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. 45 You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.”
LUKE 2 NLT
17 After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. 18 All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, 19 but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. 20 The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.
25 At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him 26 and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, 28 Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying,
29 “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. 30 I have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared for all people. 32 He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!”
33 Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was being said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, but he will be a joy to many others. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. 35 As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.”
Each passage has incredible truth that teaches us about our Savior and gives us insight in to how we should respond to our God.
“May everything you have said about me come true.”
Mary was not only willing to do what God destined her for, but she believed by faith that God could do miracles.
“the baby in my womb jumped for joy.”
John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin, knew before he and Jesus were born that there was something extra special happening. His response had more to it than being in the presence of God. The future was bright!
“Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.”
Can you imagine hearing all that Mary heard? She heard this part from some of the most unlikely people, the shepherds. God is always speaking, but we are not always listening. It is important to keep the words of God rolling around in our lives. What we think about a lot we begin to believe and act upon.
“Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was being said about him.
This last passage was the response after hearing from an old man about their son when Jesus was 8 days old. They knew they were part of a miracle and God’s gift to the world. Yet there was more ahead for them.
There is more ahead for us too. It is time to celebrate Christmas and believe that God has more in store for us, for His church and for the world around us. Miracles still happen, and God still uses people like you and me to get the ball rolling.
Mary and Joseph weren’t rich and didn't live in the biggest house in town. God favored them. They allowed themselves to be used for God’s plan. We can do the same!