Recently, while reading through the Christmas story in Luke 1, Mary’s words (verse 38) burned in my heart – “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.”
“Handmaid” – To me, the word has a special ring. In other translations I see it as maid, servant, and slave; but I love sound of “handmaid.”
Webster defines handmaid as “a personal maid or female servant” and “something whose essential function is to serve or assist.” The relationship is personal. I pondered how I too am a “handmaid” of the Lord. What a special calling, to be a “personal” servant of Christ.
Then, I looked back at the preceding verses. When the angel first approached Mary (verse 28) he said, “Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women.” And (verse 30), “Fear not, Mary; for thou hast found favour with God.”
“Favoured” – “highly favoured” – one who had “found favour with God.” Mary was a special handmaid with a special calling. A mere servant, a quiet, simple young woman who just went about her daily life serving the Lord, favored by God, and serving others.
Mary did not hesitate but immediately said, “Be it unto me according to thy word” and accepted her role in giving birth to God’s Son, the One who would come to save us from our sins.
Oh that it could be said of me that I am a handmaid that has found favor with God, one who is a personal servant of Christ, with a special calling from God, and one who immediately trusts, obeys, and goes about carrying out the purpose for which God has called me.
Ladies, God’s call to Mary should make us feel special. He continues to call us – first, to be highly favored, then to serve. Will we be as eager as Mary and say “be it unto me according to thy word?”