Advent 8: Mary served God Gratefully rather than through Gritted Teeth

A few days after she was told that she would give birth to the son of God, Mary went to visit her relative Elizabeth. The angel had said that Elizabeth was also miraculously pregnant and Mary jumped at the opportunity to talk with someone who had some understanding of what she was going through.

As Mary entered the house, ‘Elizabeth’s child leapt within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In that moment, Elizabeth saw that Mary’s child was unique and she calls the baby ‘her Lord’ confirming what the angel had promised.

happy-laughingAs Mary hears this confirmation, that everything that the angel said is true and that her child really will be the son of God, she bursts into a song of praise.

When God asks us to do something difficult, do we serve him Gratefully or do we obey but only through Gritted teeth?

Do we embrace what God is leading us into with joy or do we resent him, making sure that he and everyone else knows that we are obeying God but that we are NOT HAPPY about it?

Mary’s prayer starts with her thanking God for how blessed she is. This is incredible given the opposition she was going to face (see yesterdays blog for more about this). She calls God holy, powerful and  merciful and she thanks him for keeping his promise to his people.

The road ahead would be tough, but Mary enthusiastically praises God even though he was asking so much of her. Rather than looking at God through the lens of her life, she chooses to look at her life and circumstances through the lens of God (click here if you would like to read some more about this and what it means).

Mary stayed with Zechariah and Elizabeth for 3 months and it must have been such an encouragement to her to have someone to talk to who believed her and who were aware of what God was doing.

May Mary inspire us to continue to praise and to trust in God even when things are difficult and May God give us Elizabeth’s; people who we can spend time with who believe us and also who believe in us.

This is a part of a series of short thoughts for advent to help us to consider the events surrounding the birth of Jesus as we prepare ourselves for Christmas. You can look at the other advent reflections by clicking here.

There is one for each day in December leading up to Christmas day, so check back tomorrow to see what happens when Joseph finds out that Mary (his fiance) was pregnant.

You can read more about Mary’s visit to Elizabeth and her song of praise in Luke 1 starting at v39.

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About honestaboutmyfaith

Hi, my name is Graeme and I’m married to a very patient wife. We have 4 children, 2 rabbits, a terrapin (and not a lot of peace and quiet!). I’m a Baptist Minister who is especially interested in making Church accessible to people who have no church background and also in how we disciple people in order to equip them to live out their faith in the 21st Century. I am also a member of the Eastern Baptist Association's Council with responsibility for Mission Strategy.
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3 Responses to Advent 8: Mary served God Gratefully rather than through Gritted Teeth

  1. Tom says:

    Excellent view, Graeme, on how Mary responded. I am guilty of doing what God wants me to do, but through gritting teeth, not with joy. My heart is not always in it as it should be. We should always be filled with joy at being able to serve God and do what God wants us to do. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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