This concludes a week-long series looking at Seven Magnificent Mothers from scripture who exhibited characteristics to be admired, imitated, and praised. Happy Mothers Day!
Magnificent Mother #7: The Willing Vessel
Finally, we come to our seventh “Magnificent Mother”. I think I can dare to say that this is the most famous mother in human history – Mary, the mother of our Lord. I give her the title of “The Willing Vessel”, because she exhibits a very important characteristic for us of a magnificent mother.
Imagine what it must have been like for a young girl to have an angel show up and tell her that the Holy Spirit was going to impregnate her, and her child would be the Son of God. A couple of things strike me when I think about Mary’s possible reaction: first of all, “I’m going to be pregnant?!? What will my family think? What will my fiancé think? What will the neighbors think?” Secondly, “I’m going to be the mother of the Son of God?!? No pressure there! I’m going to be responsible for the safety and wellbeing of the Savior of mankind?!?”
But that’s not Mary’s reaction at all. We find her answer to the angel in Luke 1:38: “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.” Mary is a willing vessel, willing to carry out the task that God has set before her. Willing to give birth to the Lord of the Universe. Willing to be the channel through which the Savior of mankind enters the world.
What if she had been unwilling? What if she had said, “Forget this! I’m not taking that kind of responsibility!” She could have ended that pregnancy if she wanted to. Or, more likely, ended her life. But she says, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.” The Willing Vessel.
You know, Mary was there from the beginning until the end of Jesus’ ministry on earth. She was there in the stable at His birth, and she was there beside the cross when He died. Have you ever wondered how a mother could stand by and watch her son be executed in such a humiliating way? I think she was able to do that, because out of all the people who were there, she knew Jesus was who He said He was. Of all the people who were watching Him die, she knew He was born of a virgin. She knew that He was conceived of the Holy Spirit. She knew that He was God’s plan to redeem the world. Because Jesus wasn’t just a family name passed down from older generations – it was a name given by an angel who foretold that He would save His people from their sins. And she was willing, even when it came to watching Him die.
God has called each of us to be His vessel. He wants all of us to carry the love and grace of God to a world that is lost and without hope. He wants all of us to be willing vessels, ready to take on whatever plans He has for us.
And God wants all of His magnificent mothers to be protectors, like Jochebed, even when the protected doesn’t necessarily want the protection.
And God wants His magnificent mothers to have the kind of selfless, compassionate character, like the mother-in-law Naomi, that would draw others closer and make them desire to have the kind of faith that she has.
And God wants His magnificent mothers to be promise-keepers, like Hannah, and to entrust their children, who are His gifts, back into His care.
And God wants His magnificent mothers to be like the widow who struck oil, ready to seek Godly counsel and act in faith and obedience when times get tough.
And God wants His magnificent mothers to be industrious, like Lydia – whether inside the home or outside of it – and to use the increase of their labors to help build His Kingdom.
And God wants His magnificent mothers to pass their faith along to their children at any cost, even if, like Eunice, their voice is the lone witness for the Lord.
And God wants all of us to be His willing vessels, who will say, like Mary, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.”
Mothers, today is your day. We honor you today, and we celebrate you, along with these “Seven Magnificent Mothers”.
~ Matt Kinnell,
NHIM Board Chair