Fiat Mihi is the first canticle of Christmas; the Latin term used in the Church to describe the amazing response of Mary to the angel Gabriel in Luke 1:38, upon being told that she had been chosen to carry the Son of God in her womb. When translated from Latin to English, Fiat Mihi means “Be it done in me” or, as Eugene Peterson translates it in The Message Bible, “Let it be with me.”
“May it be unto me as you have said.” (Luke 1:38)
Imagine a family gathered in the living room on Christmas Eve. Shreds of wrapping paper litter the floor, Christmas music blares in the background, and cups of eggnog teeter precariously on end tables. Everyone watches as Dad gets up from his chair and places a huge, shiny present right in front of the youngest son.
Six-year-old Timmy rips off the shiny paper and discovers a label showing a deluxe model railroad set. Timmy, stunned, pauses for a minute, then looks up at his father.
“Oh Dad, I don’t think you mean to give this to me. I’m not really ready for something like this. Maybe I need more training, some classes, a seminar? You can take this back to the store. I’ll just settle for a little jar of bubbles.”
No six-year-old in the world would respond like this! Children shriek, and jump, and tear right into their gifts—even the ones they really aren’t ready for!
If kids know how to accept good gifts from their father, why can’t we? The excuses Timmy gives are the same ones we use when God wants to give us the gift of serving Him in a new, and sometimes, risky way. We struggle to believe that God actually wants to use us.
Mary had the same struggle (Luke 1:34-37), but she didn’t let the struggle dictate her obedience. Instead, she accepted the privilege that Gabriel was offering, believing that God would somehow equip her for the task.
What if Mary had said “no” to this calling from God? What would she have missed?
But she didn’t say “no”; she relinquished control and surrendered to God’s plan. Because of this, Mary is called “blessed” for all of time (Luke 1:45). When we follow God’s call, “ready or not” we can move out in faith and watch in expectation, as Mary did, for all the blessing He has planned for us.
- Think of a time when you took a risk to follow Christ. What was the fruit of that obedience?
- How are God’s good gifts sometimes hidden by struggles?
Nativity Building Activity: Set up the stable, but leave it empty for now. Long before Jesus was born on earth, God was getting everything ready.
by Laure Herlinger
What do you think of when you hear the word “obey?” You might think of the rules at your house, maybe a puppy you’ve been trying to train, or about a time when you had to decide between right and wrong. When I hear the word “obey” I think of surrender. Take a moment and hold your hands in front of you and make the tightest fist that you can—and then, take a deep breath and open your hands. That is a picture of surrender. Of trusting that you don’t have to hold tightly to your own will.
In Luke 1:26-37, the angel Gabriel comes to Mary and tells her that she’s going to have baby Jesus. Mary doesn’t have a husband and asks a big question: “how?!” Now, God could have responded “it will happen because I said so!” Instead, the angel explains to Mary that God plans to be with her through it all, every step of the way! This was a loving invitation to trust and obey God’s plan for her life!
God cares about you. You are not a puppet on a string, forced to do something you did not choose. But, the cool part of all of this is that God created us to do good works! He loves you and invites you to join His story by obeying Him. Not because you have to, but out of thankfulness for the gift of His love. Ephesians 2:8-10 (NIrV) says:
God’s grace has saved you because of your faith in Christ. Your salvation doesn’t come from anything you do. It is God’s gift. It is not based on anything you have done. No one can brag about earning it. We are God’s creation. He created us to belong to Christ Jesus. Now we can do good works. Long ago God prepared these works for us to do.
Did you happen to read verse 38 of Luke chapter 1? Mary surrenders to God’s big, beautiful plan. I imagine her holding her hands open, palms up as she says, “Let it be to me according to your word.” Mary chooses obedience; not because it will be easy (having a baby is hard!). But because she trusts in God’s love for her. No matter how young or old you are, God is inviting you to love Him with your obedience to His word. Your questions, doubts, and fears are never too big for Him. He’s inviting you to bring all of those to Him, and surrender…to obey. Look down at your hands again. As we enter into this beautiful season called Advent, take a moment to hold your hands open and say yes to God’s plan for your life.
- How did Mary answer the angel’s announcement?
- What did Mary believe about God that helped her trust Him?
- Why is it good for us to obey?
by Jamie Chapman