First, Mary is willing to submit her plans, purpose, and life to God’s will. The very call of discipleship is no less, but we cannot find a more fitting image of what it entails than the change that a child brings. The immediate change that takes place quite physically for a mother, but the birth of a child also alters her life from that day forward. It is a change that requires sacrifices of time, sleep, energy, and plans to care for and raise them. Child rearing is not casual, half hearted, or easily adapted around one’s current lifestyle and choices, as any parent can attest! Rather, it requires commitment and selflessness. And this image stands to highlight our call to submit our lives to God.
The call to follow God through Christ Jesus is one that is not casual either. It requires giving all we are to God and requires changes that, by God’s grace, transform us. As we proceed in Lent, the Annunciation poignantly reminds us of this reality. And it calls us to reflect upon the ways we can grow to embrace it more fully.
Secondly, the Annunciation stands to remind us of patience. The promise of God comes nine months prior to its fulfillment. We understand this to be a natural progression from pregnancy to child birth, but fail to imagine all that must have run through Mary’s mind during that time. After the visitation until the birth of Jesus nine months passed as Mary reflected upon what this would mean. She stored up these thoughts and messages from the Lord in her heart as Scripture reminds us through her interactions with Elizabeth. She likely ruminated on them in prayer, pondered what they would mean, and what it would all look like. And she faithfully walked it out each step of the way.
This is a great reminder unto us! So much of the Christian life is walking out it - not simply enduring, but walking it out with Jesus. At times we don’t always see how that will look. It may not be revealed in the moments of doubt, the times of distress, or the times when life altering moments arise. But, we have hope in the One in whom we place our confident trust knowing that as we seek Him we will find and be found by Him.
As we give thanks for Mary’s yes to God, we reflect upon these points and their example unto us. An example that spurs us on and one that gives us pause in the midst of our journey with Jesus this Lent. May we faithfully respond as Mary did and so walk out each day trusting, embracing, and growing in our faith as we submit the whole of our lives unto the Lord!