Could you imagine the situation Mary found herself in as a young woman living in the Mideastern culture over 2000 years ago. First of all, women of that culture did not hold much respect in the society of their day. In fact, they do not have much of it today either. To be found with child, outside of marriage, was an unacceptable situation to be in, when viewed by both the families and the religious authorities. It was a condition which brought shame to the parents and the Jewish Assembly at large.
Mary did not ask to be cast into these uncomfortable circumstances. The angel Gabriel unexpectedly shows up in Nazareth to make an astounding announcement to this unsuspecting young virgin. His words are not what anyone would ever be expecting to hear. “Greeting, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” And of course, as one might believe, Mary was greatly troubled while being confronted by such an impressive celestial being. The angel went on saying, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. And behold, you will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give him the throne of his faither David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his Kingdom will have no end.”
Mary realizing this is a pretty far-fetched statement for even this spiritual entity to be making asks a reasonable question, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” Once again, the angel has a straight-forward answer, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. For nothing will be impossible with God.” O.K. I guess there you have it, a perfectly good excuse for what is to eventually transpire for this mild maiden!
Mary responded in a way that was truly faithful and fully accepting. I am not sure I would have been so faithful in my reaction. In fact, there have been many times in my life when I have not followed the Lord’s leading with a trusting heart. Holy Scripture tells us to trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5
What a wonderful example Mary gives to you and me about placing our trust in God. Our Lord is trustworthy because on that first Christmas day He entered the world, in the flesh, to give His life for the salvation of both our souls/bodies. In Him is life and He is the light of the world which no darkness can overcome. May the Light of Christ shine in our hearts this Christmas and unto eternity! Pastor McCarty