Christmas: The King Has Come

Devotional

Mary: Reflect & Rejoice

Read today's verse.

Imagine Mary’s circumstances. A young woman, engaged to Joseph, with her whole life ahead of her. Then, suddenly, she receives a visit from the angel Gabriel, who proceeds to tell her that she has been chosen by God to bear the Child who will change the world forever.

Of course, this likely came as a shock to Mary, seeing as how she was a virgin and not yet married. But she asks, “How shall this be, since I have no husband?” Mary isn’t asking out of doubt or skepticism. She simply wants to understand how she is to serve.

Gabriel then proceeds to tell her that she will conceive by the Holy Spirit! How do you process something like that? How do you react to this? For Mary, it was easy: she trusted in the Lord and surrendered her life to His perfect plan. She exclaimed, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.”

We can reasonably assume the reactions of Mary’s family and the townspeople probably weren’t as trusting. One can only imagine the looks of doubt and outright judgment Mary was subjected to during her pregnancy. But this did not shake her nor cause her to lose heart. In fact, In Luke 1:46–55, we read a beautiful song of praise and pure joy from Mary as she exclaims, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.”

Mary was going to give birth to the King of the universe—imagine that kind of pressure! Yet, she remained strong, joyful, and full of faith in this season of preparation. How? Luke 2:19 and 2:51 indicate that Mary was a woman of reflection, who meditated on the Lord. She was a woman of quiet contemplation. Twice in Luke chapter 2, we read how “Mary kept these things in her heart.” Luke’s repetition of such a seemingly minor detail speaks volumes about both Mary’s character and the significance of reflection in a disciple’s life. Do you know who else constantly found Himself in reflection, retreating from others to get alone with God? Jesus!

When was the last time you found yourself keeping the things of God in your heart, reflecting on the goodness, beauty, and wonder of our Creator and King? Take a cue from Mary and her Son, and get alone with God today! Just allow your soul some breathing room to take in who God is . . . He’s worth it!

For The Kids: Do You Trust God?

One day, an angel suddenly appeared before Mary. The angel told Mary God loved her and was with her, and not to be afraid. He said she would have a baby boy and to name him Jesus. Mary was confused. She was not yet married to Joseph, so how could she have a baby now? The angel said, "The Holy Spirit will perform a miracle, and because of this your baby will be called the Son of God."

Mary couldn't believe what she was hearing. Even though this seemed crazy, she trusted God and rejoiced in Him. She said, "I am the Lord's servant . . . My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.” Take some time to think about everything that God’s done for you and give him thanks!

Today's Challenge

Spend twenty minutes in quiet reflection, meditating on the goodness and grace of God.