Christmas devotionals abound, I know. But God connected a dot for me last night and I thought you would enjoy it too. It’s about two women and their radically different responses to God.
Here’s a little context. Every year we do an assortment of Christmas celebrations.
Watch “The Nativity” movie. Read “The Advent” book. Attend a couple of musical presentations.
At one such event, there was moment when the characters acted out the fall of man, and thus the need for the Savior. In this particular drama, Adam exclaimed that Eve got them kicked out of the garden. He seemed bewildered, amazed, overwhelmed by her deception. (Never mind that the man was with the woman when she was tempted by the serpent.)
Call me hyper-sensitive, but there was something yukky about the script or delivery, as if everything would be hunky-dory if it wasn’t for ‘that woman.’
“Lord what do you think about us blaming women all this time?” I asked. Certainly, this is God’s beautiful story from beginning to end, so He should know.
Oddly enough, Chuck texted me right away. “Have to sneak in that it’s the woman’s fault that the man was deceived,” he said.
I smiled. Okay, if he heard it too maybe it really was yukky.
But the Lord’s answer stirred my soul and has stayed with me like a Holy Present being slowly unwrapped and enjoyed.
“Through a woman, man was redeemed. Mary’s obedience cancelled Eve’s deception.”
Just as there was a first Adam and second Adam, there are two women in the story as well. Through Jesus, the curse of Adam and all mankind was broken. Likewise, just as sin entered the world through Eve, so Redemption entered into the world through Mary.
Eve was deceived by her distractions. She was looking to the next shiny thing that captured her attention. Her distractions ultimately demanded her life, and the lives of all mankind.
But Mary’s story is radically different. She had many reasons to decline God’s invitation. Her man, her beauty. Her reputation and plans…Yet it was her devotion to God that rescued not only her life, but the lives of all mankind.
Hear me clearly. Mary is not the Savior. But she made a way for the Savior.
Mary’s desire to please God, her willingness to lay down her life that Jesus might be born, set a new standard for women. What Eve lost in the garden, Mary regained through the manger. Her single focus was to see the life of Jesus on display.
We no longer claim the legacy of the Deceived. We are the legacy of the Devoted.
Set your eyes on the One true God this season. Lay aside the deceptions, the distractions to make a way for the Savior. Your devotion is the greatest gift you can offer the King.