“Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.” Luke 1:38
“Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.” Matthew 1:19
“The heavens declare the glory of God” Psalms 19:1
As we read the Christmas story, we tend to skim through the Mary and Joseph part to get to the “real” story, the birth of Jesus Christ. But their story can teach us a lot. Mary and Joseph were betrothed to be married. For Mary, she must have known what people would think if she was “with child” before she was married. She must have known that she could face shame and stoning and death. And yet, she was praising God for the opportunity to be His “maidservant”. She was a humble woman and faithful and welcomed her role in God’s plan.
For Joseph, he could have been angry and had Mary stoned or publicly shamed. But even before the angel of the Lord spoke to him, he was willing to keep it all a secret and just not marry her. He really was a nice guy! But he was also a Godly man, for when the angel announced the truth of Mary’s pregnancy, he immediately married her and took care of her. He was a humble man before God and was a willing participant in God’s plan.
So as we prepare to celebrate Christmas, the birth of Jesus, our Savior, I want us to think of these two humble people that God chose to use in His wonderful plan of salvation for all of us. Who would believe that God would choose two poor, lowly people to raise “the King of the Jews”, “the Messiah”? (Obviously not the Pharisees and Sadducees or the rulers of Israel.) How did Mary and Joseph feel as they carried the responsibility of raising God’s son? I’m sure they felt inadequate at times, insecure, unsure, unprepared. But they trusted in God and His plan. They praised Him and looked to Him for guidance.
We have a lot to learn from their example. How many times have we made an excuse not to do some small service (that we have felt led to do) for God? I have. “I don’t really have the time. I not really sure this is what God wants me to do. I’m too shy to speak up in front of people. I’m not good enough.” We should desire to follow the examples of Joseph and Mary and humbly trust in God and His plans for our lives. “For with God nothing will be impossible.” Luke 1:37
Humble is defined as “having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance”. Mary and Joseph did not rely on their own abilities or their own strengths or even other people’s perceptions. They relied on God’s power and promises. And in doing so, they glorified God.
This week, as Christmas approaches, let us humble our hearts. Let’s not think about our own limitations but let us look to our all-powerful God because with Him, nothing is impossible. Let’s welcome Him and His plans for us into our humbled hearts. And let us glorify our God.
I thank God for each of you. And I thank you for joining me this week as we humble our hearts to receive God’s plans for our lives.