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A Body Prepared “Then Mary said, ‘Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word…’ ” Luke 1:38 What must Mary have thought? What must she have felt? This young girl, devoted to her God, was visited by Gabriel with the announcement, or rather the proposition of the ages. God’s eyes had been watching her. At the moment she was mature enough to receive the assignment, the angel was sent with great greetings. “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you...” (Lk. 1:28) As a virgin, her life was set apart, untouched, holy unto the Lord. And now she was chosen. “Many are called, but few are chosen” (Mt. 22:14). Each choice qualifies or disqualifies us to be used for the Lord’s bidding. Mary’s life was the chosen vessel to bring forth the Messiah. “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call his name JESUS.” (v.31) What? How? When? Perhaps these questions raced through her mind. How can this be….? (vs. 34) The answer itself supersedes all reasoning. It’s a work of the Spirit alone, moving upon a yielded vessel that divine conception occurs. “For with God nothing will be impossible.” (vs. 37) The Word was received, and her response was simply, “Let it be to me according to your word.” (vs. 38) Perhaps at that moment the seed of conception took place when she mixed the word with faith (Heb. 4:2). Mary was a body prepared to conceive and bring forth Jesus. “Therefore, when He came into the world, he said: ‘Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me.’ Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come - In the volume of the book it is written of Me - to do Your will, O God.’ ” Hebrews 10:5, 7 The time was set for the Son of God to leave the place of glory and splendor and enter into the World which he created. From the beginning to the crucifixion, Jesus’ life and words constantly revealed His heart towards His Father. “Not my will, but Thy will be done” (Mt. 26:39). He came and took on the form of a bondservant, coming in the likeness of men. (Phil. 2:7) . A body, a physical form was prepared for him to dwell in and bring forth redemption and reconciliation. A human garment from which He humbly, boldly, lovingly, and profoundly demonstrated the Kingdom of God to the objects of his affection … mankind. “Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.” Cor. 12:27 And now we individually, and even more so corporately, are the vessel through which the very expression and demonstration of Jesus is to be manifested. We, as Mary are simple, yet set apart. The Word comes to us - a conception and birthing of His glory is requested from our lives. Jesus set aside his comfort and put on a garment of flesh. We are the body being prepared and matured to conceive and bring forth ‘Jesus’ in order to demonstrate His glorious Kingdom in this vital hour. In the coming year, may we even more greatly respond, “Let it be to me according to your word. Behold, I am here to do Your will, O God.” Rev. Sharon Carlson