Sunday, December 9, 2012
Yes is a powerful word. Especially when it's a response to God.
This Christmas season I've been contemplating the role that Mary played in the birth of Jesus. A Bible verse started my musings, but not a traditional Christmas verse. This verse goes all the way back to the beginning -- all the way back to the Garden of Eden.
The verse is Genesis 3:15 where God is cursing the serpent.
"And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise Him on the heel."
My mind fell on two words -- her seed.
This Scripture is obviously speaking about the future triumph of Christ over the power of Satan, the enemy. But here, Jesus is referred to as the "seed of the woman."
Fast forward to Mary, a young virgin, chosen to carry and give birth the Jesus. God could have done anything in this scenario, but when I look closely, I marvel at how God chose to usher in the birth of His son in partnership with Mary. He uses her seed -- her egg. I guess up to this time I just figured God implanted a pre-fertilized egg into Mary and -- tada! She was pregnant. But He used her seed.
That means Jesus probably looked like Mary. Her genetic makeup was combined with God's. I am in awe that God invites a mere mortal to play such an integral role in the birth of His Son.
So, maybe I've seen too many biology videos on the "miracle of birth", but I wonder in Mary's case, when did conception happen? When did she actually become pregnant?
In the videos we see the sperm that is trying to burrow through the protective lining of the egg. Finally, when a pregnancy occurs, there is an opening and the egg becomes fertilized, and life begins.
I don't think Mary's impregnation was that different. A yielding had to occur from within her. I think conception happened when Mary said "Yes" to God's plan.
"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said."
The incredible love of God! He could have forced His will upon Mary, but God doesn't rape. Life springs forth when a fully-yielded heart says yes to God.
I ponder the truth of this for my own life. Where are the places God's Spirit is wooing me? Where is He inviting me to partner with Him in something that ushers in His life and presence? This Christmas I am impacted by the power of the choice I make to God's invitation. I want to be like Mary and respond with a yielded heart. I say YES.