The Annunciation and 3 Lessons We Can Learn from Mary
The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus” (Luke 1:30-31).
In the heart of the Lenten season, Christians await Resurrection Sunday with eager anticipation. While we certainly look forward to celebrating Jesus’s victory over death, now is also a wonderful time to look even farther ahead to Christmas by celebrating the Annunciation.
The meaning of the Annunciation is easy to remember because it’s an announcement. Presumably, nine months before Jesus is born, the angel Gabriel is sent to the Virgin Mary to announce the conception of the Son of God through the Holy Spirit. Although it’s not likely that Jesus was actually born on December 25, March 25, exactly nine months before Christmas, is the most logical day to celebrate the Annunciation. To reflect on this great moment in history, here are 3 practical lessons we can learn from Mary:
1. Be prepared to be used by God. As an unmarried young woman from Nazareth, Mary has a very low social status, but God doesn’t care about that. Mary continues a long list of people in the Bible who felt inadequate (Moses, Rahab, David, Jonah, Naomi to name just a few) that God uses to fulfill His promises.
2. Put your faith in God. In great contrast to Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist who doubts Gabriel’s announcement that he’ll have a son, Mary is described by her cousin Elizabeth as “she who has believed” (Luke 1:45).
3. Live your life as a servant of the Lord. Mary ultimately responds to Gabriel with the powerful words, “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled” (Luke 1:38). Through Mary’s willingness to be used by God, we have an incredible example of the Apostle Paul’s later request for followers of Christ to be a “living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1).