Luke 1:26-42 is a very interesting account of a women who willingly rendered herself to God’s service, to God’s plan, to God’s program, and to God’s proposal. It challenges me when I read Mary’s humble response to the Angel Gabriel; “Behold the handmaid (bondslave) of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.”
These are the words of a servant, They reflect the attitude of a person bound to God. The words reveal the disposition of someone who is willing and ready to make personal sacrifices for God, for His plan and His program, regardless of the outcome. Like Mary, most people in God’s service at one time or another have made a similar response to God. This certainly is true of missionaries. Like Mary missionaries are self-denying, self-giving, and self sacrificing. It is not unusual for missionaries to deny themselves the rights and privileges of their native country in order to spread the gospel in another country. Since many countries prohibit foreigners to possess land, it is not unusual for missionaries to give up the luxury of owning their own homes; nor is it unusual for missionaries to sacrifice the celebration of holidays with extended families. In fact, some people who serve in tropical climates or in Africa even in many third-world countries sacrifice their own personal health and perhaps their lives to spread the gospel. Missionaries who rightly serve our Lord and Saviour have the same humble response as Mary did: “Behold the [bondslave] of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38). In fact, we are to serve the Lord in our mission fields with a like attitude.
Jim Elliot wrote, “As your life is in His hands, so are the days of your life. But don’t let the sands of time get into the eye of your vision to reach those who sit in darkness. They simply must hear” (Elliott). “I know that my hopes and plans for myself could not be any better than He has arranged and fulfilled them. Thus may we all find it, and know the truth of the word which says, ‘He will be our Guide even until death.”
Lord, as You lead us from day to day, help us have the same attitude as Mary. Help us be able to say, “Behold the [bondslave] of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38). Amen.