When the angel came to Mary what was Mary doing? This is the question asked by Martin Luther as he contemplated Luke 1:26-33. Here is his answer for our contemplation this advent season:
Quite possibly Mary was doing the housework when the angel Gabriel came to her. Angels prefer to come to people as they are fulfilling their calling and discharging their office. The angel appeared to the shepherds as they were watching their flocks, to Gideon as he was threshing the grain, to Samson’s mother as she sat in the field. Possibly, however, the Virgin Mary, who was very religious, was in a corner praying for the redemption of Israel. During prayer, also, the angels are wont to appear (Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus, ed., Nancy Guthrie).
What are you doing this year? Should our Messiah delight to return and the angels announce his coming, will He find you at the task He has given you? Will you be found faithful and usable by God at His glorious appearing? Beloved, your calling need not be the grand pulpit of some great city cathedral, or even the head of some moral campaign. Maybe it is the noble calling of a mother educating her children in the fear of God. Perhaps it is the indispensable support of the saints through intercessory prayer. Maybe it’s the mailman, police officer, nursing home attendant, drug store clerk, baggage handler, or any number of vocations the Lord is pleased to give our hands to do. Whatever it is, might our Lord return today and find you and me faithful, doing whatever we do in the excellence of His name, giving thanks to God through Christ our Savior (Col. 3:17).
It is easy to believe Mary was faithfully discharging her duties as a young, Jewish girl, and from there God chose to use her. It is more difficult to believe that God would choose to use us in the seemingly mundane existence of our lives. Yet, Mary’s testimony is in the power of God through Jesus Christ to give the seemingly mundane the most glorious meaning and purpose through the incarnation of Christ.
May Christ be incarnate in your labors this day. Might this advent season be a glorious reminder that our Lord came to save your life and give it the purpose of glory and good.