Christmas Devotions: Mary And The Holy Spirit

The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, a descendant of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. The angel came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled by his words and began to wonder about the meaning of this greeting. So the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God! Listen: You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will never end.” Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I have not had relations with a man?” The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called the Son of God.
~Gabriel and Mary, Luke 1:26-35

The clearer the calling of God the more difficult the task. Mary was given a very clear mission. She would have a child without the help of a man. She would raise Jesus, the promised one. Although her calling was joyous it was also very difficult. She would have to live with the fact that most people would not believe her when she shared the wonderful calling of God. She would live as an outcast and she risked the rejection of Joseph, her fiancé.

Mary would not just need to stand firm in the face of rejection she would also have her heart broken by people who would mistreat and abuse her son. The promise of God was sacrificial in nature. Jesus was born to die in our place and Mary would pay a high emotional price for God’s love.

Mary was clearly called to be part of the glorious fulfillment of God’s promise but along with that calling came a life of pain. The clarity of her calling gave her strength in the times of difficulty.

Our hope for you today is that God would clearly call you into a significant ministry.

Bonus Content: 

The beautiful Christmas hymn playing softly in the background of today’s podcast is “Joy to The World, The Lord is Come!” It was not written as a Christmas hymn but rather as an impression of the concluding words of Psalm 98. Isaac Watts never intended his hymn to be sung at Christmas time but the pure joy it captures along with the deep theology it proclaims makes it a perfect fit for the celebration of Christ’s birth.

Imagine the weight of Mary’s divine calling in light of these profound words.

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King!
Let ev’ry heart prepare Him room,
and heav’n and nature sing,
and heav’n and nature sing,
and heav’n, and heav’n and nature sing.

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ,
while fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
repeat the sounding joy,
repeat the sounding joy,
repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
far as the curse is found,
far as the curse is found,
far as, far as the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
and makes the nations prove
the glories of His righteousness
and wonders of His love,
and wonders of His love,
and wonders, wonders of His love.

With much love, A18FCA90-B60D-4FED-87D5-A0697AB1ADB7The Downings

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