Here is a Christmas Devotional written by Vance Havner. It comes from a book my husband and I read together earlier this year. The book is called Reflections on the Gospels compiled by Michael Catt of articles Rev. Vance Havner had written and published in the Charlotte Observer.
Blessed Among Women
The beautiful story of annunciation of the birth of Christ to Mary has suffered from overemphasis among some and underemphasis among others. Mary has been called “the Mother of God,” which she was not. She was the mother of the Man Christ Jesus. She was “highly favoured” and “blessed among women” for exactly this reason: God has chosen her to be the virgin mother for His only begotten Son as pertaining to the flesh. There is a Mariolatry which ignores our Lord’s own attitude toward His mother.
Genesis 3:15 now received fulfilment, and “the Seed of the woman” is coming to bruise the serpent’s head. Isaiah 7:14 here comes to fulfilment in the Son “Immanuel.” He is to reign over the house of Jacob from the throne of David, a prophecy yet to be fulfilled. Christ is at the right hand of the throne of God but not now on the throne of David.
It is significant that the first question asked about the virgin birth was asked by the virgin herself: “How shall this be?” Men have asked it ever since, but here is God’s own answer: that it is the supernatural work of the Holy Ghost and the power of God. Much argument is focused on the supernatural birth instead of the supernatural Son. The Son of God required a birth in keeping with His deity. Who He is explains how He was born.
Mary goes to Elizabeth with the good news and breaks forth into the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55). Very similar is Hannah’s prophetic prayer in 1 Samuel 2:1-10, for both close with reference to Christ: “He is King” with Hannah, and the “Help” promised Israel with Mary. The theme through both is the marvellous way in which God puts down mighty and exalts those of low degree, even as He still does in His choosing of the saints. (1 Corinthians 1:26-31).
Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Ghost, had already called Mary “the mother of my Lord.” So she was, but mother of Him as man in no way elevates her to be worth of adoration of worship. Bengal rightly says that she is addressed as a daughter of grace, not as the mother of it (Luke 1:28).
A beautiful little lesson in faith is gathered from verses 34, 37 and 45. “How shall this be?” – that is the query of men since the beginning when faced with the message of the supernatural power of God. The natural man cannot receive or comprehend how God works His wonders of grace!
The answer is “With God nothing shall be impossible” (v. 37). God is able to save (Hebrews 2:18), to deliver (Daniel 3:17), to do (Ephesians 3:20), to subdue (Philippians 3:21).
Then verse 45: “And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her of the Lord.” It is always so when we take Him at His word. He who promises will perform. Do not ask “How?“ Take Him at His Word and it shall be done even as He has said.
May you have a Blessed Christmas, and truly know the Reason for the Season. -Beth:)