Sparta Baptist Church

Advent Day 8

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“’I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May it be to me as you have said.’”  Luke 1:38

Begin by reading Luke 1:26-38. Try to take in as many details as you can and imagine the scene set before you.  Try to picture the young girl’s face as the angel appeared before her.  Try to put yourself in her position.  Scripture says she was “greatly troubled” when the angel first appeared.  Can you imagine why?

Think about it.  She was a young, inexperienced, and unknown girl from a small town that was often ridiculed (see John 1:46).  How could she have imagined what the Lord had in store for her?  She must have stood amazed if she could stand at all.  You can’t blame her for having questions, yet she only asked one.  “How?”  Not “Why?” or “When?”…Just “How?”

With the answer the angel provided, she stepped forward.  She believed.  She obeyed.  She must have been so frightened!  There was so very much at stake.  Her upcoming marriage.  Her reputation.  Her family and its reputation.  And even her life.  Yet she said, “I am the Lord’s servant.  May it be to me as you have said.”

Do you wonder if she ever regretted that response?  Did she ever think, “What have I gotten myself into?”  Perhaps she wished the angel had stayed just long enough to tell her mother, too.   He had told her not to fear.  Can you imagine how often she had to remind herself of that?

Still, Mary’s humble heart was willing.  Though she knew the road ahead was absolutely filled with obstacles, she also knew the one who was leading her down it.  She would not shrink from him or the places he chose to put her.  She chose to believe his promises and follow his plan.

Worship:  Jeremiah 29:11 says, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’’  Do you, like Mary, need to trust in God’s promises and follow His plans?  Often, His plans lead us to places we never dreamed we would go, and the roads He leads us down can be rather bumpy.  Still, He is the God who makes rough places smooth (Isaiah 42:16).  He will not forsake you.  Trust Him.  Pray to Him.  Ask Him your questions.  Listen for His answers, and like Mary, offer Him a willing heart.  Sing or listen to the hymn “Wherever He Leads I’ll Go.”

Family Focus: Read Isaiah 42:16 together. Choose someone to be the leader.  Blindfold one person and send them out of the room. Set up an obstacle course of chairs or other items.  Bring the blindfolded person back into the room.  First, have everyone but the leader be silent as he/she gives directions to the person who is blindfolded, leading that person through the maze.  Second, try again, allowing some members of the family to try to distract the person being led by giving wrong directions and adding confusion.  Third, while other members of the family attempt to distract, have the leader walk very close to the blindfolded person, leading them by the hand, removing obstacles as they go.  Afterward, explain that if all we hear is the voice of God it is easy to follow Him, but we are often distracted by the obstacles we face or by the other voices in our lives.  Then remind everyone that Jesus walks daily with us, guiding us and making the rough places of our lives smooth, as we trust in Him and follow in obedience.  Encourage everyone to follow Him today.