His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. (NIV)
We do not like this statement by Mary, uttered when Gabriel announced that she would be the mother of Christ. We want it to say that the mercy of God extends to all. In a world that despises all authority and wants to put everyone on equal footing in every situation at all times, we have placed ourselves on the level of God Himself. How can we show fearful respect to one who is our equal?
Yet God is clear. We are to have no other gods before Him, including ourselves. While His mercy is available to all, it is accessible only to those who will humble themselves at the foot of a babe in a manger. It is accessible only to those who recognize God as their Lord and King, who drop to their knees in adoration at the Presence of His Son.
This was true before Mary and it remains true today, from generation to generation. As we head into the week that ends with Christmas, let us remind old and young alike of the proper posture before God. The babe whose birth we celebrate is not to be cooed over in saccharine sentimentality. He is to be worshiped with fear and trembling, for as the hymn rightly says, Jesus was Lord at His birth.
Almighty and merciful God, prepare my heart this week as I prepare to celebrate the birth of Your only Son. May my posture of humble adoration bring glory to You, my Savior and King. Amen.
Copyright © 2010 by Steven R. Perkins