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Luke 1:38a – Mary said, "I am the Lord's servant, and I am willing to do whatever he wants." (TLB)
Luke 1:45 – You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what He said. (NLT)
One Christmas, my 16-year-old sister got pregnant by her boyfriend. I was a year younger, and neither of us had the slightest idea how such a thing could happen. No one had ever told us anything, and we had no friends who might share that information, living the isolated life that we had. In those days, young, unmarried, pregnant women (like Jesus' mother, Mary) were sent to reform school, and their babies were pronounced "illegitimate" and often taken away and adopted. My parents were scandalized and immediately forced the reluctant couple into a marriage that was soon over. Everywhere, there was gossip about how my sister had gone bad, coupled with intense speculation that I would be next. In these days of unmarried celebrities announcing a baby on the way, it is easy to overlook how hard Mary must have had it. Village gossip hasn't changed any since the beginning of time. Were those same, loose-tongued finger-waggers down at the cross, 30 years later, nodding and confirming that they always knew that He would come to a bad end?
God gave Mary a choice. Without hesitating, she immediately chose Him, knowing that her whole life would be changed, not just for nine months but forever. God gives us the same choice: "Come, follow me." Our other option is to go our own way, rejecting His presence in our lives. Sometimes, that choice is clear-cut. Unseen angels may even be present as we choose a daily walk of faith. Someone said, In every act of faith, there is often a seed of fear. Mary had no such hesitation, despite knowing what the neighbours would say. Fear of gossip must have been a real temptation, but her commitment never wavered.
There she is in the second chapter of Luke, still unmarried and about to give birth, riding on a donkey. Anyone who has ever been pregnant knows what that kind of transport would have felt like, including the lack of washrooms and paramedics, finishing up with no comfortable place to lie down and rest. Still, we hear no complaint from Mary.
What will our choice be today when God calls on us? Are we listening? Are we weighing our options, or will we respond, as she did, with an immediate "Yes"? Are we faithful when temptation comes? Mary was young and poor, not famous or powerful, but God has used her down through the ages as an example of a steadfast, willing believer, ready to follow Him.
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, we are grateful to have the choice today to follow You. Thank You for Scripture, which in all its translations shows us how to walk with You in prayer and willingness. Thank You for the example of the woman that You chose to bear Your Son, in whose name we pray. Amen.
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Good words, Rose.
Thank you for a very special devotional.
Rose, you have blessed us once more by turning one of your life stories into a lesson. Thank you!
Thanks for sharing, Rose. So true. Merry Christmas and blessings to you and your family!
Thank you Rose for this vivid picture of Mary and what she must have gone through! Blessings.
Rose, what a lovely and inspirational devotional.
Amen Rose. Thanks for a good word today. Merry Christmas to you and yours.
Thank you so much for your sharing and challenging us to follow God’s calling and being aware of how we need to make the right choices.
You Wow! That is really good food for thought!! Thank you for having the courage and faith to share your own sister’s story, Rose, which really does bring Mary’s response into 3D. God bless.
As always, a wonderful message.
Thank you, Rose.
God’s blessings and love to you
Dear Mrs. DeShaw,
Thank you for continuing to inspire and encourage with your devotionals.
Really was captivated by the image of the finger – wagers present at the cross. This devotional was a great take on such a miracle.
By allowing us to view the birth on a more secular level, it provided a unique insight that I can apply to my own everyday questions.
Your devotional gets better all the way to the end.
Mary was young and poor, not famous or powerful, but God has used her down through the ages as an example of a steadfast, willing believer, ready to follow Him.
Thank you for writing a very mindful devotional today. It is really something to think upon, what Mary endured at that time and definitely remained faithful to God and His word and that is what is an important decision in our lives today. His word is the right path to follow.
Blessings to you.
I wonder if it was the times or where you lived, my sister and I are both in our 80’s and we were just talking yesterday about how lucky we were. To our advantage we lived on a farm so knew a lot about sex of animals.
A minister’s wife who had spoken a Presbytery of young people said how God was watching I think that scared us more than anything, but the guys were not educated either.
Until I think it was 1985 babies born in New Brunswick out of wedlock had the word bastard on their birth certificate, they say it is just a word bastard meaning illegitimate.
Sometimes today I wonder do they know too much. Enjoy your writings.
Thank you for your submittal. Mary of Nazareth was indeed married by Jewish law, but the wedding had not yet taken place. That is why Joseph considered divorce (Matthew 1:19), but to do it quietly so as to avoid shaming Mary publicly and exposing her to the type of retribution that you mentioned.
God, in His wisdom, had the young couple travel to Bethlehem to have the Child, to fulfill Scripture and also, to get away from the gossips.
As for those people who jeered Our Lord at the Cross, they were His greatest heartache. Yet, after His Resurrection, those that repented and believe in Him, gave Our Lord His greatest joy.
Merry Christmas and keep writing!
What a sad story about your sister, that was the way it was in those days, we knew from nothing.
I am preaching on Mary’s “Song of Joy” and as an introduction I mention the visit of the angel to her. When she walked/rode from Nazareth to Ein Karim she had lots of time to think, what about Joseph, what about the women at the well, what about all the gossip around town.
But in all she clearly showed that it was not about her, but about God’s son.
Thank you for writing this wonderful devotional. We wish you and yours a very blessed Christmas.
I continue to learn new things about you all the time. I didn’t know you had an older sister! Her experience must have had a great impact on you as well as her! I well remember girls (undoubtedly pregnant) who mysteriously went away to visit an “aunt” or someone for a few months before coming back home. And there were the couples who “had” to get married. It’s a different world today, isn’t it?
Hi Rose, thank you for this reminder of Mary’s faithfulness. We in the protestant church need more of Mary.
Coincidentally, I have a cousin who had a similar experience as your sister. Fortunately, a few years ago she was reunited with her “illegitimate” son who is now a loved and accepted member of the family.
Why, thank you Rose. I had a baby at 16. But my parents loved on that child. I married my Prince Charming. We grew more in love as the nest emptied. After 40 wonderful years he was gone. God gave him a much-needed retirement. Now as I try to work my way out of this wet paper bag called grief it is that first born that has propped me up and pushed me forward. I woke up with the 23 Psalm in my head and she was the first person to hear it. Thanks. Your insights are always spot on.
Your writings have a way of going down deep. Thank you for following Christ and blessing others with the Hope you have found In Him!
I pray through your Writings that others will find Christ and want to follow Him too!
The other day I read somewhere: “JESUS is the Reason for Everything!”
Have a very blessed Christmas Rose. I thank God for you.