A2 Advent Devotional • December 19, 2010
by Mary Jo Wilson
The image of the young Mary being interrupted in the course of her day by a heavenly invitation to bear God’s son is one of my favorite parts of the Christmas story. I am always amazed to consider how this young girl so completely trusted God and seemingly gave little thought to her personal future and planned engagement. She seemed so ready to say "yes" without hesitation to God and to this amazing proposition.
Mary stands in stark contrast to the first woman, Eve, who, through the serpent's deception, took the first step of human disobedience. In my mind these two women stand as bookends, one representing human fallenness, the other reflecting God's grace in allowing us to participate in his divine plan of redemption. Though I experience my fallenness as a daughter of Eve on a daily basis, I am also challenged by Mary's heart of sincere devotion. I likewise desire to quickly respond to God's call with a heartfelt "yes!"
Amazingly, God continues to invite us to participate in his divine plan of redemption. It has been my privilege to offer his redemption to my Japanese neighbors who have questions about eternity, or my friend whose mother-in-law gave her permission to consider the Christian God. The Holy Spirit has been preparing them and continues to draw them, but along the way he lets me take part in the process. I sense Mary’s joy when she sang, "My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant . . . for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name" (Luke 1:46).
Mary's heart is full of gratitude that God chose her to bring the Savior into the world. I am also deeply grateful for the privilege he has given me to bring Jesus to Chikako and Tamiko and others. So the Christmas story not only speaks to me of the young Mary’s role in God's grand plan of salvation, but my part as well. I pray I can especially be ready to notice the divine opportunities he brings into my day and respond promptly, “I am the Lord’s servant.” It is in these moments that we experience the miracle of Christmas and are filled with joy for the privilege it is.
Mary Jo Wilson
Church Multiplication Missionary for Japan