E17: It all started with Mary …

PODCAST: As Christmas approaches, we can’t help but think about this extraordinary part of the Christmas story.

  • E17: It all started with Mary …
  • OK, so it didn’t exactly start with Mary … But think of her words: “Let it be to me according to your word.” If she hadn’t had such an extraordinary faith and attitude, things could have gone very differently.

    As Christmas approaches, we can’t help but think about an extraordinary part of the Christmas story – that of Jesus’ mother, Mary. She was young, and she was given an incredible role to play. But according to the story in Luke 1, she didn’t even doubt for a second. Join Eunice and Kathy in today’s podcast as they discuss her response, and how we can have that same attitude in our own lives!

    Transcript: “Living the Gospel” podcast, Episode 17: It all started with Mary: “Let it be to me according to your word”

    This is ActiveChristianity’s “Living the Gospel” podcast. Join us as we explore different aspects of the gospel according to the Bible, and how we can put it into practice in daily life.

    Eunice: Welcome to the start of our Christmas celebrations here at “Living the Gospel.” I’m Eunice.

    Kathy: And I’m Kathy. Eunice, you may or may not know this about me but, I love Christmas! I love everything about Christmas.

    Eunice: You love Christmas. You must be one of those that listen to Christmas music from like, September.

    Kathy: I have to limit myself, I really do. Every year.

    Eunice: What do you like best about Christmas then?

    Kathy: That is a hard question to answer, but to be honest, probably Christmas shopping. I love the whole experience, I love going out, buying presents, the whole Christmas music playing in the stores while you shop, snow falling outside and then getting home and wrapping up the presents. I just love the whole process of buying presents.

    Eunice: It’s super cozy.

    Kathy: It’s very cozy, yes.

    Eunice: Guess what’s my favorite part?

    Kathy: Hmm … I have a pretty good guess.

    Eunice: Umm … Christmas cookies is my favorite part.

    Kathy: Yeah, that’s what I would have said.

    Eunice: I love baking and eating. It is just a super special time of the year.

    Kathy: It is.

    Eunice: Especially for us Christians, and it is the time where we remember one of the most important things that’s ever happened on earth.

    Kathy: Yeah, and every once in a while, we hear comments that “Oh, Christmas is actually a pagan tradition and these different traditions that don’t even have their roots in Christian things.” It’s kind of true I guess, but for us, we always celebrate Christmas as Christians because of what it has come to mean to us, which is that we celebrate that Jesus was born and what that means for us and the hope that that brought into our lives, that He was born, right?

    Eunice: Yeah, I think it’s a good reason and a good time of the year anyway, where everyone thinks especially about that and about what Jesus did for us, how much He loved us, and just to reflect on that and reflect on actually also the responsibility that we have, of you know, once we have been saved by His precious blood.

    Kathy: And we think about that all year round, but I think it’s special that we get this little extra drive now to remember that and to be really thankful for it.

    Eunice: And I think, when we think about the whole Christmas story, it’s hard to forget that it all begins with Mary, Jesus’ mother.

    Kathy: Yeah it does, and we actually have an article on ActiveChristianity called “Mary: Truly she is blessed among women” and we are going to listen to a reading of that article today. And the point that comes out most strongly about Mary in that article, is her incredible faith in God.

    Eunice: Yeah! When the angel came to her and told her about this incredible role that she had been chosen for, she could very easily have been doubting or think like, “Why me?” or “Who am I?” But she wasn’t like that. What was actually written about her in that?

    Kathy: It’s actually written that she said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And those were amazing words of faith and trust.

    Eunice: I think Mary must have been a very humble, faithful, obedient girl in her little situations in her home or wherever she was, I think that. Otherwise God wouldn’t have chosen her for that task; I think He must have noticed her mindset, you know, in her little place, and He must have picked her because He knew she would say yes!

    Kathy: True!

    Eunice: If I think of the other heroes, like David or Samuel, they started when they were young being obedient and being faithful, and that verse in 2 Chronicles 16:9 that says that “the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose hearts are loyal to Him.” And when I think about that verse, you know, God doesn’t miss someone who’s faithful. If I’m faithful in my place and that I need to do, then I can be sure that God will give me strength to carry out what He wants me to do. That whole mindset about Mary, “let it be to me according to your will”, that’s also, that faithful mindset.

    Kathy: I was just thinking about Eve in the garden of Eden, when the serpent tempted her to eat the fruit on the tree there, that God had very clearly told them not to eat, right? But then Satan said to her. “Has God really said?” and then with those words he got at her, you know. So, for me, in my situations, say, just as an example, God points out to me that I’m holding a grudge against someone and I need to give that up.

    Eunice: Right.

    Kathy: Just a small example, a small thing, and then for me, instead of immediately having that attitude, “Let it be to me according to your will,” the devil can come, and he can plant these things in our ear, right?

    Eunice: Excuses.

    Kathy: “Did God really say this?” “Is it really like this?” “Does it really have to be this way?” And it can sound so reasonable, but if instead I have that right from the beginning when God points something out, and He shows me something in me that needs to be overcome, that right from the beginning, I can have that attitude: “Let it be to me according to Your will!” And then just as you said, God sees that and He strengthens those whose hearts who are wholly for Him. So then, I can overcome that.

    Eunice: I was also thinking about that whole mindset about, “Let it be to me according to your word.” In my daily situations for example, sometimes God shows me part of my nature that I would rather have not seen, you know? It’s kind of ugly and not so nice and you know you have to overcome that, because sometimes it’s not so nice for the other people, as well, whom you are around. And then I think about this mindset, “God, You told me this, this is how I am, yeah, You are right and let it be to me according to your word; I’m going to do something about this; I’m going to love the truth!”

    Kathy: I acknowledge that.

    Eunice: I acknowledge it and then I believe that I also get the strength to do it.

    Kathy: Yeah, absolutely! Then we can be just like what you said about those other heroes of faith like David and Samuel and so on, it started from when they were young. If they were faithful in the small things, and then they became these heroes of faith, right? So, I don’t have to wait until there is some big situation where it’s like a big, outward, obvious thing. But I can be faithful in these little moments in my life to have that mindset, “Let it be to me according to Your will!” Like Jesus said, we know that Jesus said that in the Garden of Gethsemane: “Not My will, but Yours be done.” And that’s the attitude that I can have in my life. That’s the faith that I can have in my life, actually.

    Eunice: So, let’s take a listen to the article now: “Mary: Truly she is blessed among women.”

    (Click to read:)
    Mary: Truly she is blessed among women

    Eunice: So that’s something to keep in mind in daily life, this “according to your word” mindset.

    Kathy: Yeah, to have that as our motto in life – “At your word; as You say, that’s what I will do!”

    Eunice: So that’s all we have for today. Next week we’re going to have another Christmas-related theme to talk about and then you guys will be straight into the Christmas spirit. So, we look forward to that.

    Kathy: Yes, we do, and we love to hear from our listeners. So, if you are listening on iTunes, feel free to leave us a rating and a review and let us know what you think about the podcast, how we can improve. So happy December everyone. Enjoy the season!

    Eunice: See you next time!

    Kathy: See you!