Who was Jesus’ first disciple?  It wasn’t Peter.  It wasn’t Andrew.  Jesus’ first disciple was none other than his mother Mary.

There is a story in the Bible called the Annunciation.  “Annunciation” means “announcement.”  The angel Gabriel visited Mary, a young woman engaged to be married, and announced to her that she was to give birth to a child who would be the Son of God, the one who would liberate his people from oppression, the one who would be Savior of the world.  There was a lot in that announcement for Mary to ponder, but the bottom line was that God was going to save the world.

Mary’s response?  “Here am I, the servant of the Lord.  Let it be with me according to your word.”

From the announcement to Mary, two takeaways for us:

First, Mary is the model of discipleship.  She said yes to God.  We would like to think that we also would say yes to God.  We want to do something great for God.  We want to use our God-given abilities for a mission bigger than ourselves.  However, we tend to distinguish between the things we would do for God and the things we would not do for God.  Mary did not get that choice.  Before she could make any kind of list concerning her preferences for her life mission, God already had an assignment for her.

Second, nothing will be impossible for God.  That’s what the angel Gabriel said to Mary.  Immediately prior to the Annunciation, we find a story of the same angel Gabriel visiting Zechariah, the man who would become the father of John the Baptist.  When Gabriel told Zechariah about the child to be born, Zechariah disbelieved him.  Contrast that with Mary, who must have had her questions, but nonetheless believed.  Nothing will be impossible for God.  It was an important statement for Mary to hear.  It is an important statement for us who will not be giving birth to the Savior of the world but nonetheless have our own significant challenges.  Nothing will be impossible for God.

In our sermon on Sunday we will discuss the Annunciation.