John 6:38 “For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will.” New Living Translation
The word ‘surrender’ makes us uncomfortable and it is probably not the first word that comes to mind at Christmas! We associate surrender with loss, quitting or throwing in the towel. No one wants to put their hands up in the air, wave the white flag and as they say in the action movies ‘stand down’. But the Christmas story is nothing without God working in and through people willing to ‘surrender’.
Are we brave enough to surrender and put aside our dignity and reputation as Mary did? When she said ‘yes’ to God, she surrendered, everything. Joseph set aside his pride and became ‘Dad’ to a child that wasn’t his for a purpose he couldn’t fully understand. Would our egos be able to do the same? Would we surrender for the sake of God and others with no guarantee that things would be ok?
But ‘surrender’ is exactly what we are to do as followers of Jesus. His entire life was one of complete surrender. He drew strength, purpose and in the end, victory over the grave because he was utterly surrendered to the will of God the Father.
This type of surrender is brave. It is trusting. It is hopeful. It is the only thing we need do to be followers of Jesus and yet it is our biggest stumbling block. ‘Your will, not mine”, may roll sweetly off of my lips in prayer, but it’s much harder in the day-to-day grind.
Surrender is frightening. It is costly in worldly terms. It is counter-intuitive to everything we know about making our way in this world. And yet, Jesus does it over and over again, from his birth to his death and to his glorious resurrection.
Here is the challenge in my life and I hope it challenges you too; can we give a gift to the Lord this Christmas, the humble gift of our own, heart and soul surrender to Him.