This time of year brings up a lot of emotions, and for some, it’s longing, this deep hope that there’s something more. People long for something more than Christmas gifts, time with family or friends, and just stuff. All the advertisers want us to believe that we can fulfill any longing we have with their product. Yet, at the end of it, we all know gifts and family time won’t fulfill us. They may even leave us more empty than before.
God calls us in this season to invite others to know Him and fulfill this longing, just as He sent an angel to invite Mary into how God planned to use her:
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most Highwill overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[b] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”
38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
Gabriel invited Mary to perhaps be used for one of the most important tasks a human will ever be asked to do – carry the son of God in her womb. She does not hesitate here in this account. She simply replies that she is the Lord’s servant and is ready for the task. Perhaps, she had a longing feeling, and this was her answer.
Today, first ask God to be present with you. Then, spend some time thinking how you might invite someone to know the Lord. Ask God to specifically place people on your heart that you might be able to invite. Ask God to remove any barriers or fears you might have about inviting someone.
Have more time? Want to go deeper?
- Reread the verses above. What exactly did Gabriel ask Mary to do? How did he approach her with his invitation? How can you apply this to your life today?
- Journal about how you would respond to a request like this. Would you have responded like Mary?