Prepared for Christ with Faith
Lastly, we are most prepared for Christ’s coming when we are exercising an active faith.
Mary’s song begins with a very personal thanks and moves in verses 50-55 to the greater vision of what God is doing.
“He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.” (Luke 1:51-2, 54-5, ESV)
Mary had the insight of what was happening –she saw the inbreaking of God -that the promises of God were about to be fulfilled. Mary sees in the birth of her son the fulfillment of the promise made to Abraham in Genesis 12:3 that “all the families of earth shall be blessed”. After all this time, after all the wondering, God is indeed faithful and the world will know. But Mary does not see the final outcome. Not yet. She is hanging onto the promises of God; she is living into her faith. And she models it wonderfully for us. It is raw trust at it’s fullest because we base our lives on its truth. Elton Trueblood wrote, “Faith is not belief without proof, but trust without reservation.”2
Like Mary we do not see the final outcome. We cannot even see into the next hour. But, we are most prepared for Christ’s arrival when we finally decide to live by faith and trust -that come daylight or darkness, joy or pain, despair or hope, tears or side-splitting laughter that God is faithful to his promise to be with us. No better place do we see that than in that smelly stable as Jesus, our Lord, enters the world for the express purpose of revealing God to you and me and making our way back to Him possible.
Mary’s song, the Magnificat, contains so many lessons for us. As we enter these final days before Christmas, pray and strive to cultivate a heart and mind that is ready for Christ’s birth. Let Mary’s example of humility, thankfulness, and faith inform your preparation. Remember that Jesus comes most readily to the place prepared for him and the place that will welcome him. After all, he was born in a dirty stable simply because that was the place that would have him. To be born in our hearts all He needs is for us to be willing to Have him. May each of us prepare a place for Him, like Mary, with humility, thankfulness and faith. AMEN+