November 17, 2005


Luke 1:26-38

"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Luke 1:38


Our reading for today gives us a helpful insight into Mary's inner life. Mary had just experienced some perplexing things--a visit from an angel, who said that she would become pregnant through the working of the Holy Spirit and that her child would be "called the Son of the Most High." This meant he would be the Son of God, the promised Messiah of God's people. What do you think raced through Mary's mind and heart? Was she tempted to ask for a better explanation of why and how all this would happen? Was she tempted to say, "No, no, you've surely got it wrong!" Did she want to suggest that someone else might be a better choice for this task? Did she perhaps want to say the whole thing made no sense and that she'd never find a way to convince her parents and neighbors this was all legitimate? Listen again to the power of Mary's answer to the angel. "I am the Lord's servant... May it be to me as you have said." These words reveal a wide-open heart, a life that is totally available for whatever the Lord has in mind! A servant-heart is an available heart! Is your heart open today to the way the Lord wants to lead you?

O Lord, my God, while you lead me in your ways, give me a heart as yielding and available as Mary's. For your sake and the sake of your purposes, I pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

About the author — Howard Vanderwell

Rev. Howard Vanderwell was involved in pastoral ministry in the Christian Reformed Church for 40 years, serving as a pastor in Iowa, Illinois, and Michigan. Upon retirement in 2002, he began his work at Calvin Seminary, where he helped train the ministers of the next generation. Howard and his wife, Eleanor, were married for 57 years and had three married sons and ten grandchildren.

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