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Mary’s Messy Yes

• Greg Boyd

Mary, the mother of Jesus, is one of the Bible’s great examples of faith. God chose her as the human vessel through which God would enter the world! Mary responded with great faith even though it would certainly introduce many challenges and change her life’s path.

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Today’s topic could not be more monumental. In theological terms we are discussing the “incarnation”. God has entered the world. The Creator has been made physically present to the creation and has walked among us as a human being. This is the very heart of Christianity. And it all happened through Mary.

We might imagine many ways that God would “show up” and let the world know that he loves us—but without having known the story—it might be considered blasphemous to suggest that God be born in a dirty stable. But, when it is God’s idea to do it this way, it speaks profoundly of the character of God and how God wants his relationship with human beings to be. It seems impossible to imagine how Mary felt when God chose her for this unthinkable role. What we can know is that she responded in faith with these words, “I am the Lord’s servant, may it be to me according to your word.”

This was the response of faith. Greg spent time helping us see that by human standards, Mary was not a person of powerful standing or great influence. She was a humble Jewish child, and yet she was given a calling by God and accepted it with joy. She was blessed to have been chosen by God for a specific purpose.

Consider Ephesians 4:11-12. Each one of us is included in God’s plans to serve and love the world. Each one of us is called to play a part in the kingdom of God. Just like Mary, God has a calling for you and for the community you live in. If we listen, we will hear what it is that God would have us do, and if we choose to be like Mary, we will respond in faith to God’s call.

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Topics: Calling, Faith


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Focus Scripture:

  • Luke 1: 26-39

    In the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."

    Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."

    “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?"

    The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail."

    “I am the Lord's servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me according to your word.” Then the angel left her.

    At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea,

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