Fulfillment. Fulfillment denotes a promise kept, the achievement of something desired, promised, or predicted.
One of my brothers once brought up a scene from my wedding day from his point of view. He said he was a witness to my “yes” to my husband. He said “you didn’t stop the priest and ask if one of you would ever be sick, or ask if you would have difficulty bearing children, or stop to get some guarantee of bliss for the entirety of your marriage…you looked at your husband and made a vow in front of hundreds of people and in the sight of God and said ‘yes.’”
He went on to note that Mary, Jesus’s mother made a commitment as well when she gave God her “yes.” Yes is powerful, right?
Can you picture a young teenage girl, being visited by an angel of the Lord, telling her that she would fulfill a promise made to generations that came before her and would come after her? This young Mary, not even being married yet, but longing to love her God with all her heart and mind and soul, was being told that she was to bear a son.
She had to be a bit dumbfounded, maybe perplexed, and surely scared. Aren’t there times when you’re scared to say yes? Times when you tune into and foster your relationship with God and feel called to something…maybe something difficult or hard to understand? Aren’t we called to place our trust in Him so that we can fulfill His plans? Surely doing His will can be frightening, can seem like a gamble sometimes, can make us uncomfortable…….
“Do not be afraid. You have found favor with God. See you are to become a mother and have a Son. You are to name Him Jesus. He will be great. He will be called Son of the Most High….” (Luke 1:29-32)
She didn’t stop the angel to ask if there would be suffering, she didn’t ask if the road ahead was guaranteed to be easy or happy, she didn’t even ask what would become of her. What teenager do we know who would courageously give her “yes” in a situation such as this? What adult would say yes without reservation or hesitation?
“The power of the Most High will cover you. The Holy Child you give birth to will be called Son of God.”
Still, most of us would stop to question this, no? But she was part of a plan and so are we. The plan for you or me may not be to bear the Son of God, but we are called to be witness to and an integral part of the fulfillment of His glorious story.
This story of His glory began long before Mary’s “yes”, but with it, the promise of a Savior literally came to life. We know what was brought about by the life that was born of Mary’s yes, but we have been called to answer “yes” to fulfilling His glorious story even 2000 years after Jesus’s birth. Will we encounter difficulty? Can we get a guarantee of some kind? Can someone promise us that our road will be easy?
Mary’s answer to the angel Gabriel (without hesitation, without needing a guarantee, without any real knowledge of what was to come):
“I am willing to be used for the Lord. Let it happen to me as you have said.” (Luke 1:38). Yes
There is enormous power in yes….yes leads to fulfillment. Her yes led to the fulfillment of God’s promise of a Savior, Jesus Christ.
Yes is an answer filled with obedience and trust…when we answer “yes” to God’s calling to us, we become part of His glorious story….we continue to bear witness to the Christmas story: a story of fulfillment, of a promise kept.
“And there in the stable, amongst the chicken and the donkeys and they cows, in the quiet of the night, God gave the world His wonderful gift. The baby that would change the world was born. His baby son…Mary and Joseph named Him Jesus, ‘Emmanuel’—which means ‘God has come to live with us’ because, of course, He had.”
—Jesus Storybook Bible (pg.182)
Lord, show us how you want us to fulfill the story of your Glory. Help us to grow in strength and courage to say “yes” whenever You call us. Yes, Lord, I am willing to be used for You. Let things happen to me as You say.