"Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland." (Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV)
"'How will this be,' Mary asked the angel, 'since I am a virgin?' The angel answered, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.'" (Luke 1:34-35 NIV)
"'I am the Lord’s servant,' Mary answered. 'May it be to me as you have said.' Then the angel left her." (Luke 1:38 NIV)
In the Scripture above from Isaiah, the prophet was telling the people that they would be returning from exile to their promised land. I also see this as a prophecy of a truly new thing which we celebrate during this time of year – the coming of the Messiah. In the account of Mary, we see some new things. I believe the Jewish people believed that the Messiah would just appear from the sky as a kingly warrior to destroy their enemies. Instead He came to earth as a tiny baby. Another new thing that happened was that a virgin had this baby.
Who knows what Mary was thinking when the angel Gabriel told her she would give birth to the Messiah. Thoughts were just flying around in her head. She may have been to awestruck to even think too much. She may have thought about what might happen to her if she agreed to go through with it. She might have thought about what other people might think about her and about Joseph whom she was to marry. Whatever her thoughts, she told the Lord that she was His servant.
Today people do not like to think about being a servant. That brings negative connotations and people today want to be puffed up. They want to feel like they are somebody and not someone who has to obey everything someone else tells them. Most people today want to be on an ego trip and do not want to give into anyone. Of course, slavery is wrong but we Christians should die to self and become servants of our Master Jesus Christ. A beautiful thing about this Master is that He is also our friend. He tells us to take his yoke and work for Him. This may sound hard but He said that his yoke is easy and His burden is light.
During this time of year we are thinking of gifts that we are going to give our family and friends. What can you give to Jesus? You can give more of yourself. Will you take his yoke and become His servant? He may want you to continue doing what you are doing for him or He may have a new thing for you to do. Will you go where He wants you to go and do what He wants you to do? If you will just start on the first step then He will empower you with His Holy Spirit to help you be the servant He wants you to be.
By Dean W. Masters
Unedited redistribution approved
(To access the entire "A New Thing" mini-series, please click here.)