For the past two years, I've used this day - Christmas Eve - as a sort of dedication day.
Two years ago, I decided to devote an entire year to becoming a servant - freely giving myself away to whatever task God assigned me. It was one of the most joyful years of my life, so I did it again last year.
Freely is the key word and it's a big deal for me because deep down, I'm motivated by recognition. Being recognized by others somehow makes me feel validated - as if loving God and being loved by him isn't enough. I'm a work in progress and am in training to care only about hearing one pair of Heavenly hands clapping.
So Lord...let's do it again.
For me, one of the most beautiful examples of a servant of God is the example of Mary. Here's what she said to the Angel Gabriel:
"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.
My study bible says this: Mary was young, poor, female - all characteristics that to the people of her day, would make her seem unusable by God for any major task. But God chose Mary for one of the most important acts of obedience he has ever demanded of anyone....God's favor does not automatically bring instant success or fame. His blessing on Mary, the honor of being the mother of the Messiah, would lead to much pain: her peers would ridicule her; her fiance would come close to leaving her; her son would be rejected and murdered. But through her son would come the world's only hope, and this is why Mary has been praised by countless generations as the young girl who "found favor with God." Her submission was part of God's plan to bring about our salvation. Life Application Study Bible, NIV
Being a servant of God requires faith, sacrifice and labor, but it seems to me that his servants gain an intimacy that far outweighs the difficulty.
Jesus Christ is the best gift ever received, the best gift we can give to him is our very life.