Read: Matthew 1:1-16; Luke 1:26-48, 2:1-7
And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He 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 father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”
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.”
How many times do you think you’ve heard this passage of Scripture from Luke chapter 1? For me, between a lifetime of Christmas church services and viewings of A Charlie Brown Christmas, it’s too many to recall. But it’s only been in the last month or so, as I thought about the lives of the five women listed in Matthew’s genealogy of Christ, that I really began to ponder who Mary was and what the Bible tells us and doesn’t tell us about her.
She was a young girl, engaged to marry a carpenter, Joseph—this much we know. If you'd crossed paths with her on a dusty road, you might not have even noticed her. She was likely a plain, average girl. She was a virgin. We know she came from a working class family and lived in a poor region. She was... no one special.
Yet, in a most unexpected turn of events, she found herself face-to-face with an angel who brought big news. The biggest news! She was going to be mother to a king, and not just any king—the King of kings.
By the world’s standards, Mary was nobody. She hadn’t achieved much in the life she’d lived so far. As far as we know, she hadn’t won any awards or run the fastest mile or made any scientific discoveries or been named class valedictorian. She hadn’t done anything to earn this role. Yet God chose her to do something incredibly important.
I think it’s because He wanted to show us that we don’t have to be the best, the most attractive, the smartest, the most talented, to be used by Him. We just have to be willing to listen and respond, Yes.
And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”
Do you feel like you’re invisible? He sees you.
Do you feel like God doesn’t have anything important in store for you? He does.
Do you feel like you don’t matter? You matter deeply.
This Christmas, if you’re feeling like you’re not worthy of God’s purpose, that you have nothing special to bring to the table and couldn’t possibly be used by Him, find joy and purpose in this truth: Nobody is a nobody in God’s eyes.
And Mary—who perhaps felt too average and insignificant to do much of anything for God until this moment, when He called her and she said Yes—rejoiced with a song of praise (Luke 2:46-50, The Message):
I’m bursting with God-news; I’m dancing the song of my Savior God. God took one good look at me, and look what happened— I’m the most fortunate woman on earth! What God has done for me will never be forgotten, the God whose very name is holy, set apart from all others. His mercy flows in wave after wave on those who are in awe before him.
Written by guest blogger Rebekah Crosby.