I recently created a 31-day Advent/Christmas devotional booklet for my church called “Glory to God in the Highest.” I will be posting a devotional from it each day between now and the end of the year. Enjoy!
Scripture: Luke 1:35-38
Last September, a marathon was held near Philadelphia. It’s an important qualifying race for the Boston Marathon, so many of the runners who ran it were attempting to do just that. A part of the race course crossed railroad tracks. Despite assurances from Norfolk Southern that no train would interfere with the race, about a hundred runners got stopped by a very slow-moving train—for ten long minutes.
One runner missed qualifying for the Boston Marathon by just eight minutes—which means he would have qualified if not for the train!
Can you imagine: standing there, waiting for a slow train to pass, knowing that every passing second puts you further and further from your goal?
It’s one thing to pull a hamstring, tear an MCL, or sprain an ankle. These are runners’ injuries. Runners assume these risks when they run. But to miss out on your dream of running the Boston Marathon on account of a train, of all things? Who expects that to happen?
Now consider Mary: As great a blessing as it was for her to play so large a role in God’s plan of salvation for the world, think of the dreams she would have to sacrifice. Think of the hardships she would endure. For one thing, getting pregnant out of wedlock—even miraculously—would make her a victim of gossip and innuendo. Plus, she would have to convince her fiancé, Joseph, that, despite appearances, she hadn’t been unfaithful to him!
It was as if God were sending a proverbial freight train through the center of Mary’s dreams and plans. Yet notice her response: “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.”