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The Scriptorium

Let It Be

We have a lot to learn from Mary. Luke 1.26-38

Luke 1 (4)

Pray Psalm 132.11, 12.
The LORD has sworn in truth to David;
He will not turn from it:
“I will set upon your throne the fruit of your body.
If your sons will keep My covenant
And My testimony which I shall teach them,
Their sons also shall sit upon your throne forevermore.”

Sing Psalm 132.11, 12.
(Finlandia: Be Still, My Soul)
Remember, Lord, the oath You swore to David;
do not turn back, do not deny Your Word:
“One of your sons, with your throne I will favor,
and He shall keep My cov’nant evermore,
and walk within My testimonies ever,
thus He shall ever rule as Israel’s Lord.”

Read Luke 1.1-38; meditate on verses 26-38.


1. What did the angel announce to Mary?

2. How did Mary describe herself?

Put yourself in Gabriel’s shoes. Six months earlier he made an astonishing announcement to Zacharias, reaching back to the end of the Old Testament to announce the beginning of the New. Now he appears to Mary with the most incredible announcement of all: She will bear God’s Son through the powerful working of the Holy Spirit. Gabriel must have been looking forward to this for a long time.

And Mary, unlike Zacharias, did not disappoint. The NKJV makes Mary’s response sound rather like that of Zacharias, leaving us to wonder why she was not rebuked. But Zacharias wanted proof: “How shall I know this?” Mary was simply curious about the mechanics: “How shall (not “can”) this be?” And Gabriel obliged by explaining this would be a work of the Holy Spirit and the power of the Most High God.

Mary surely must have been stunned. She was of the line of David, of course, and so qualified to bear the Heir to David’s throne (v. 32). But bearing the eternal Son of God was another matter altogether (v. 35). Gabriel instructed her to name Him Jesus (v. 32) – which means roughly, “He saves” – for, as Matthew explained, He would save His people from their sins (Matt. 1.21). Mary and Joseph would have had no difficulty coming up with a name for her first-born, since the angel had revealed it to each of them.

This is the watershed moment of all history. And Mary embraced it with her whole heart: “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word” (v. 38). Here is an example to follow in every detail of life. God speaks and we reply, “Let it be!”

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Gabriel was not disappointed this time. He might have dreaded bringing this even more fantastic news to Mary, thinking that she too would question God in disbelief like Zacharias. But this turned out to be a joyful occasion full of wonder and belief. “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women! Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God” (Lk. 1.28, 30).

Luke points out exactly when this visitation occurred. “Now in the sixth month” (Lk. 1.26). It wasn’t the month of June, but it was, in fact, the sixth month of Elizabeth’s miraculous pregnancy. And Gabriel pointed this fact out to Mary by saying, “Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren” (Lk. 1.36).

Two reasons for this information come to mind:
1. Gabriel wanted Mary to know that she was in good company with another woman, a relative in fact, who was also in the throes of a miracle, and that “with God nothing is impossible” (Lk. 1.37).
2. Gabriel wanted Mary to know that she was not alone, and indeed, Elizabeth would understand her situation, be a good listening ear, and would rejoice with her (Lk. 1.36). Both these dear women were in situations that were potentially embarrassing, albeit glorious in nature, so it was nice that they had each other for encouragement and support. God thinks of everything!

God’s care and timing are always precise. With Elizabeth and Mary. And with you and me. And His Word to them is the same Word spoken to us, “For with God nothing will be impossible” (Lk. 1.37).

As God said to Abraham in a very similar situation, “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” (Gen. 18.14).

Jeremiah prayed with the same confidence: “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You” (Jer. 32.17). And the Lord answered back to him, “Behold, I AM the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?” (Jer. 32.27).

The truth is: “There is no wisdom or understanding or counsel against the LORD” (Prov. 21.30). He is the Almighty God. All truth and power and glory belong to Him (Matt. 6.13). “Whatever the LORD pleases He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deep places” (Ps. 135.6). And we wisely say, in response: “Let it be to me according to your word” (Lk. 1.38).

Mary—blessed, highly favored, chosen earthly mother of Jesus—set the example for us of exceptional belief in the unbelievable, by unswerving faith, and Spirit-infused courage. “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD! Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart!” (Ps. 119.1, 2)

“Let It Be.”

For reflection
1. What can we learn from Mary in this situation?

2. How should you respond to the Word of God day by day?

3. Whom will you encourage today to serve the Lord according to His Word?

as Eve was seduced by the word of an angel to flee from God, having rebelled against his Word, so Mary by the word of an angel received the glad tidings that she would bear God by obeying his Word. The former was seduced to disobey God and so fell, but the latter was persuaded to obey God, so that the Virgin Mary might become the advocate of Eve. As the human race was subjected to death through the act of a virgin, so was it saved by a virgin was precisely balanced by the obedience of another. Irenaeus of Lyons (135-202), Against Heresies 5.19-20

Pray Psalm 132.13-18.
Pray that God will clothe you with Jesus today, and that He will provide for all your needs and use you to spread the joy of salvation throughout your Personal Mission Field.

Sing Psalm 132.13-18.
Finlandia: Be Still, My Soul)
God dwells among us, and He will forever,
to meet our needs and clothe us with His grace.
He has to us sent Jesus Christ, our Savior,
and made us His eternal resting-place.
His foes are banished from His Presence ever,
but we shall reign with Him before His face.

T. M. and Susie Moore

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by
clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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