I am Second: Mary’s Story

I am Second.

Those of you in the Dallas area have probably seen the billboards, heard the radio ads, watched the tv spots, or perhaps even ventured to the website.  For those of you outside the Metroplex, I am Second simply reflects a lifestyle characterized by God is first.

Today, our church began a new sermon series for the Christmas season based on the I am Second campaign.  Except instead of using local celebrities -  athletes, artists, executives, and personalities – we’re using biblical characters central to the Christmas story and examining how they typified a life where God was first.  Our first example was Mary, the mother of Christ.

A simple, ordinary Jewish girl.  A girl with hopes and aspirations of living a normal life.  A girl who dreamed of marrying and having children, of parties and celebrations with friends and extended family, of experiencing all of life that the culture of that time afforded.  A girl with nothing to offer God, certainly, in terms of status or notoriety.  A simple girl from a simple town.  And yet…

“And having come in, the angel said to her, ‘Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!'”  (Luke 1:28 NKJV)

Highly favored.  Blessed.  Spoken to her by the messenger of God Himself.

She could have cowered in fear.  She could have offered excuses.  She could have – dare I say it? – agreed.  She did not.

Instead, she offered herself wholeheartedly, unreservedly, willingly:

“Let it be to me according to your word.”

And through her, we were given a Savior, a Redeemer, a hope and a future.

I find myself deeply challenged by Mary’s example.  By her willingness to follow, to trust in God’s plan for her, to not allow her fears about her own future to be a hindrance to obedience.  I am humbled by her humility, that although she carried the very person of God Himself within her womb she did not consider herself to be god-like.  I am inspired by her faith, that although she faced rejection from her family, her friends and even her future husband, she responded with an unwavering and unquestioning belief in God’s absolute faithfulness.  I am convicted by her sincerity, that in the face of a difficult and daunting task, she offered praise and adoration and worship of God’s greatness.  I am encouraged by her simplicity, that though she too was fallen and sinful, God was able to use her to accomplish His perfect plan of redemption.

And I am reminded, once again, of the power of being second.  Like Mary, may my hands and heart always be open and willing to follow His leading.  May my prayer be like that of Mary’s:  Let it be to me according to Your word.

May I be second so that He can be first.

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