Day 9: Advent, Expendable for the Kingdom

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.”

Luke 1:46-47

She was just a teenager, and her life was already shattered. She had found out she was pregnant—and thus condemned. Only a few months before, she had been living her wildest dreams, betrothed to an amazing man, eagerly anticipating starting her own home and family. Then, the news hit. She was pregnant.

Of course, it hit in an unusual way. She didn’t start feeling morning sickness, or notice a sudden weight gain or lack of energy. Actually, an angel had appeared to her, though she didn’t think that explanation would suffice for inquisitive family members. “Sure, sure,” she could hear them say. “An angel? More like sleeping around, I’d say.” A baby right now would mean shame, banishment, and according to the Jewish law, even death.

But instead of hurt and gnawing despair, Mary felt a strange peace. Her knowledge was limited; her faith simple. But in the act of submitting to the angel’s request, and thus to her God, she was recognizing that her life was expendable for the kingdom.[1] That didn’t take away the likely hurt from rejection of her family, or the terror of facing an unplanned pregnancy so young. But like Joseph and Esther, she was here “for such a time as this.” In yielding herself up as the maidservant of the Lord, she recognized it was a privilege to give up her own life and plans for the Lord’s greater purposes, even if that might a life of difficulty and suffering.

“Let Him make anything out of me, so being He be glorified in my salvation: for I know I am made for Him.”

– Samuel Rutherford

Lord, like Mary, would you make we willing and eager to be expendable for your purposes, even if that means giving up my own dreams?

[1] I first heard this idea of being “expendable for the Kingdom” in a sermon by David Chandler on Joseph’s life at Southside Bible Church.

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