I don’t know why but, whenever Christmas time comes around, I am always so fascinated by the songs that are written from Mary’s perspective. Songs like “Breath of Heaven” by Amy Grant and “You’re Here” by Francesca Battistelli, just to name a few.
I think the reason that Mary’s story has always seemed so fascinating to me is that she was just a girl. It is believed that she was probably only sixteen or seventeen when we first meet her in the Christmas story. Not only was she just a young teenage girl, but she was also most likely facing struggles similar to the struggles other teen girls in our day face. She was nobody special in the world’s eyes, but she had found favor in God’s eye’s and she was to become the mother of His Son.
I can’t imagine what would have been going through Mary’s mind when the angel came to her and told her that she would bear God’s Son. The Bible tells us her response: “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; Let it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38). I don’t know about you, but I am amazed at how willing Mary was for the Lord to use her. She humbly accepted God’s plan for her, even in knowing that it might change her life forever. Following God would cause her a good deal of pain and embarrassment but nothing mattered because she knew that the Lord’s will for her was better.
Mary’s faith and trust in God is an inspiration to me! I can’t speak for you, but after seeing Mary’s faith, I want to be like her. Of course, I know that God probably won’t ever appear to me as He did to Mary. But just like God had a plan for Mary, He has a plan for me and a plan for you! With a humble heart, like Mary, we are also called to come before God with a heart willing to serve and be used by God.
And Mary’s amazing story and testimony story doesn’t stop here! If you continue reading the Christmas story, Luke 1:46 – 55 is just beautiful!
“My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savoir, for he has looked on the Humble estate of His servant, for behold from now on all generations will call me blessed; for He who is mighty has done great things for me and holy is His name and His mercy is for those who fear Him from generation to generation.” Luke 1:46-50
Along with a servant’s heart, Mary has a heart bursting with thankfulness and praise to God. I can only imagine how hard it would have been for Mary to follow God as she, a virgin, became pregnant with God’s Son. Many of her family and friends probably shamed her. Joseph even planned to divorce her quietly until the Lord intervened. Yet through all this Mary had a heart full of thankfulness. Her words never once show resentment for what God was doing to her but instead, she praised God for His goodness to her.
Don’t you wish you could know her secret? What did she have that allowed her to stay so thankful amidst hard and seemingly shameful circumstances. When I get overcome with life and the many struggles that are a part of this life, thanking God is the last thing on my mind. But after reflecting on this story, I’m realizing that thanking God should be our response for everything.
There is a beautiful song that has truly captured the essence of Mary’s story and Mary’s song. It’s called “Be Born in Me” sung by Francesca Battistelli. If you haven’t heard this song, I highly recommend you listen to it! It so beautifully captures Mary’s heart and willingness to submit to God.
As I was listening to this song the other day, I began thinking about the phrase ‘be born in me’. This phrase doesn’t only apply to just Mary. Though in physical terms it perfectly describes Mary because Christ was literally born in her. But it can also apply to us spiritually. Because of Christmas, when God sent His Son into the world to save us, He gave us something special – Jesus living in us.
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” Galatians 2:20
Because of what Christ did we really are not that different than Mary. When we accept Jesus into our life as our Savior and believe in His death and resurrection, Jesus comes and dwells in us! When Christ is living in us, He creates a change in us and He gives us the strength and ability we need to follow Him, even amidst the hardest struggles.
This Christmas my prayer is for Jesus to be “born in us”. I want our lives to be an example of God’s love. Just like it was obvious to those around Mary that she was carrying God’s Son, I want our love for Jesus to be obvious as well. When the world sees us may they also see Jesus who is in us.
So what about you? Does Mary’s story inspire you? I hope that this Christmas season you find the joy that can only be found in letting Jesus come to live in your heart. He will come and fill your life with love.