Christmas Devotion: Surrender || Day 1

Day 1 || Surrender

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, 27 to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. 28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you! 29 Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. 30 “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” 34 Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” 35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So, the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. 36What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. 37 For the word of God will never fail. 38 Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her. | Luke 1:26-38 (NLT)

Put yourself in Mary’s shoes. You’re minding your business, doing whatever a 1st-century Jewish girl would have done on any given day. Maybe you would’ve just returned from gathering firewood or fetching water. Maybe you would’ve been sewing or cooking a meal. Whatever Mary was doing, it quickly became unimportant.

In the middle of what we can imagine might have been a normal day, an angel appeared. Let that sink in for a minute. You’re Mary. You’re doing what you do. And then, BOOM, Gabriel’s in your living room! It’s no wonder the first thing he said was basically, “Settle down! Don’t freak out. We’re good.” We can only imagine how frightened we’d be if we were all of a sudden face-to-face with an angel.

But maybe the most unsettling thing was Gabriel’s message.

Imagine being told you were going to be pregnant. (Mary was most likely a teenager at this time.) Keep in mind you’re not married, so this message has its problems. Oh, and one more thing: the baby won’t be your fiancé’s. And it won’t be conceived by human means. It will be God’s child, His Son, the long-awaited Messiah, promised for centuries. How’s that for an announcement?

Mary was confused, for sure. And not surprisingly. Can you imagine trying to grasp a message like this? What would her friends say? Who would believe her? What would her husband-to-be think? Would he believe her? And what did it mean that God’s Son would live and grow inside her? The questions must have flooded Mary’s mind.

But her response was pretty amazing. In verse 38, we see Mary do something powerful in its simplicity: she surrendered. “I’m the Lord’s servant. I’m on board.”

Her obedience cleared the way for her to be one of the major players in the greatest story ever told. 

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT…

  • Why is it so difficult to surrender our lives to God’s leading?
  • What does our hesitation say about our level of trust in God?
  • Do you ever think about what God has planned for you that you miss out on because you want to be in control of your life instead of surrendering it to God?

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