Luke 1:38 - ...then Mary said, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.
As I took my very early morning walk Monday, the thought came to me about Mary, the mother of Jesus. I thought about how God chose her to exact His plan of salvation. I thought about her willingness and the scripture that speaks of vessels to be used for God's service.
...in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. (2Timothy 2:20-21)
Although God has used evil or unrighteous people to bring about a plan, if I wish to be used by God, I must be willing and set apart for His service. Gold and silver set apart from wood and clay. That means there needs to be a humility, willingness and obedience. It means being in tune with the Holy Spirit.
Mary was that willing vessel chosen by God. She called herself a maidservant. In looking into that word it means handmaiden. It means she chose to submit herself, humbly, to the will of God. She does not put herself on a level any greater than maidservant. She realized her standing with God. She also knew she was in need of a Savior as much as we do. In her case it would be her Son. The circumstances she would face demanded complete trust in God.
Those who are followers of Christ have also been chosen by God. They are called to be willing vessels for His service. In other verses the Bible talks about the Master Potter. As a child of His, He begins the task of molding and shaping us:
...O LORD, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our potter; and all we are the work of Your hand. (Isaiah 64:8)
God asks each of His followers to be willing vessels and to humble ourselves, allow the Master Potter to mold and shape us into someone He would want to use. This is not some horrible thing. He makes us better than we think we are. We don't need to be perfect or know everything. He will use anyone in tune with His Holy Spirit and willing to be led. We are to fully trust in our God and our Lord to know what is right for us.
Like Mary, our circumstances may not be the greatest. It may seem to us, in our human nature, to be an embarrassing circumstance, but God knows. We may be scorned or rejected, like Mary. Hmmm, seems to me Jesus was too. That should be of great comfort.
If God calls us to be His child and we respond to the call, we need to stick with it, follow, and keep ourselves in that place. If He asks us to do something, we need to do it. Mary didn't draw attention to herself, neither should we. We are simply God's servants.
God chose us like He chose Mary. Mary is no greater than we are and we no greater than Mary. God/Jesus are the only ones worthy of such greatness. We are simply willing vessels...to honor God, bring glory to His name and reveal Christ through us for God and by God. The only One who should be on any pedestal is Jesus who is on the greatest pedestal, the Throne of God. No person can put themselves on even ground with Christ or with God. We can, however, put myself on even ground with His maidservant, Mary, as that willing vessel.
Mary brought forth in birth Jesus as mankind's Savior (including hers). We are to bring forth the Word, Jesus, through His Word that others might meet that same Savior.
Lord, I used to pray every morning to be that willing vessel. I used to pray to be filled to overflowing that I might share what You have given me with others. Help me to remember to do that again. Cleanse me of that which is dishonorable to You. I pray that I would empty myself of who I think I am and fill myself with what You want me to be. Lord, You were lifted up that You would draw all men to You. Your death brings life and light. You drew me unto You. Thank You, Lord, for doing that. You use vessels. Use me.
1Peter 2:9 - ...you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light...